The Jonathan Baldwin experiment is over in San Francisco.
The 49ers on Sunday released the big receiver, for whom they swapped disappointing A.J. Jenkins last year, after acquiring another wideout, rookie L’Damian Washington, off of waivers from Dallas. The 49ers are short on receivers with both Michael Crabtree and Brandon Lloyd dealing with minor injuries. Baldwin was not on hand for Friday’s or Sunday’s practice.
When the Chiefs and 49ers swapped Baldwin and Jenkins last August, it seemed as if San Francisco got the better end of the deal. After all, Jenkins hardly could stay on his feet in the rough-and-tumble NFC West while Baldwin, 6-4, 230, at least had size and had been somewhat productive in Kansas City.
Baldwin, however, managed only three catches last season for the 49ers despite a huge need at the position with Crabtree out for most of the year with an Achilles’ tear. He was inactive for nine regular-season games and all three postseason games. Jenkins, meanwhile, didn’t do much in Kansas City last year, catching eight passes for 130 yards. He has two years remaining on his contract; Baldwin was in the final year of his initial deal, and unlike Jenkins, his contracts aren't guaranteed.
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Baldwin made no impact this offseason and seemed lackadaisical in recent practices.
Like Jenkins, Washington is slightly built at 6-4, 195 pounds. But he has long arms (33 3/8 inches), good speed and was prolific at Missouri last year, catching 50 passes for 893 yards and 10 touchdowns. He went undrafted and was signed by the Cowboys in May. Dallas waived him on Saturday.