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Harbaugh Discusses Jon Baldwin Trade

Posted Aug 19, 2013

Jim Harbaugh made an impromptu entrance to the 49ers media tent on Monday to discuss the 49ers wide receiver trade.


Jim Harbaugh made an impromptu entrance in the 49ers media tent on Monday.

The 49ers coach wasn’t scheduled to speak, but made an appearance to discuss the 49ers wide receiver trade – A.J Jenkins to the Kansas City Chiefs for third-year wideout Jon Baldwin.

“Feel like it’s a fresh start for both young men,” Harbaugh said, noting that the trade discussions took place after the teams met in Week 2 of the preseason. "Where it stands right now, both players are on planes."

Harbaugh was hopeful the trade would be a positive for both teams. Baldwin, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound receiver has been a promising prospect for some time.

In fact, Harbaugh knew about Baldwin when he was a highly rated two-sport athlete at Aliquippa high school in Aliquippa, Pa.

Baldwin, the No. 26 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft out of the University of Pittsburgh, was even recruited to play basketball at Marquette University by Harbaugh’s brother-in-law, Tom Crean.

With Baldwin coming to the 49ers, pending a physical, Harbaugh noted that the change of scenery would be best for San Francisco’s new receiver and for Jenkins, a first-round selection in 2012.

Harbaugh, himself, felt like his change of scenery from Chicago to Indianapolis during his NFL career led to his best seasons.

"I can speak from personal experience," Harbaugh said. "I was rejected by a team, sent to another team and with the next team, my signature years came. So, it could be a real positive."

Harbaugh is hopeful this trade will create a similar experience for both players.

“That’s what everybody hopes for in this situation,” he said.

The 49ers coach also wished Jenkins well with his new team.

“A.J.’s a very talented player,” Harbaugh said. “He's never been an issue or a problem as a teammate. He competes. He works very hard.”

With a fresh start and chance to compete with new teams, Harbaugh believes the trade will impact both teams in a positive way.

“There’s no reason that both these guys can’t have a great career,” he said.

Baldwin joins a competitive wide receiver group on the 49ers roster and now has two preseason games to demonstrate his talents to a new coaching staff. Baldwin has not caught a pass in two preseason games with the Chiefs, but has 41 catches for 579 yards and two touchdowns in his two seasons in the NFL.

Harbaugh said the team would “do the best we possibly can” to get the promising receiver up to speed in a short amount of time.

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