SANTA CLARA -- Alex Smith isn’t the only player the 49ers shipped east to Kansas City last year.
San Francisco swapped wide receivers with the Chiefs, obtaining Jonathan Baldwin in exchange for A.J. Jenkins, the team’s first-round pick in 2012. Baldwin currently is looking for work after the 49ers released him in the offseason. Jenkins is No. 4 on Kansas City’s wide-receiver depth chart.
He has four catches for 16 yards this season and is averaging 12 snaps a game. He played 24 snaps in Week 2 loss to Denver, caught all three passes that went his way and finished with 16 yards.
“A.J.’s done a nice job for us,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said on a conference call. “He does a whole lot of things for us in a lot of different areas. So he was a welcome addition.”
Jenkins, of course, failed to catch a pass in his lone season with the 49ers and was gone the next year. Whereas Baldwin’s contract was not guaranteed this year, Jenkins’ $1 million deal is guaranteed.
“He goes about his job the right way,” Reid said. “Most of all, he has the confidence of the quarterback, who inevitably has the ball in his hand last. That’s important.”
Jenkins was the first of seven picks in the 2012 draft. Only one of them, fourth rounder Joe Looney, remains. Second-round selection LaMichael James was signed to the Dolphins practice squad this week.
A third player obtained by the Chiefs, cornerback Marcus Cooper, ended up winning Kansas City’s rookie-of-the-year award last year. The 49ers took Cooper in the seventh round last year but cut him at the end of the preseason with the hope of bringing him back to the practice squad. The Chiefs signed him instead and he started every game for them last year.