Just recently, in the 2012 NFL draft, Jenkins was the 49ers' first-round selection and looked to be a big part of a very bright future in San Francisco.
The Cleveland Browns, a team that has looked sharp in its first two preseason contests, would be wise to trade for the Illinois product in the coming days.
Jenkins' value is at its lowest right now, considering the reports coming out have significantly lowered the receiver's yield on the market. Then again, if the 49ers are really as close to releasing the receiver as La Canfora indicates they are, getting anything out of him in a trade could be a positive.
In evaluations of his performance, the 49ers' decision-makers will recognize A.J. Jenkins' 21-yard reception.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) August 17, 2013
The Browns have an extra third-round pick in the 2014 draft and would be well-served to swap that selection for a receiver who was, just recently, a very high pick.
Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden has found tight end Jordan Cameron early and often in the preseason thus far, but the rest of the team's receiving corps doesn't exactly inspire much confidence.
Josh Gordon has shown promise, but he is suspended for the first two games of the season and hasn't stepped up as a consistent target yet. On the other side, Greg Little is having trouble asserting himself as a solid No. 2 in Cleveland's offense.
Adding Jenkins, a straight-line speed type of player who does his best work down the field, would be a real boon to Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner's offense. The two could use another wideout who can take the pressure off of Gordon, and when comparing market value to potential production, Jenkins is a great fit for the Browns.
Weeden has a big arm and can make the most of Jenkins' ability to get down the field in a hurry. The former first-rounder won't get lost on the depth chart like he's currently doing in San Francisco, where players like Anquan Boldin, Quinton Patton, Marlon Brown and Kyle Williams are taking away valuable reps from the pass-catcher in practice.
Haven't seen a player as much in his own head as A.J. Jenkins #49ers— Drew Morita (@drewmorita) August 17, 2013
The AFC North has gone from a physical, between-the-tackles division to an air show of strong-armed quarterbacks (and Andy Dalton), big-play receivers and high-octane offenses. For Cleveland to be competitive, it'll need to add to Weeden's arsenal and bring in Jenkins, a home run threat plagued by circumstance.
The Browns may not be a Super Bowl contender, but after watching their offense operate smoothly against both the St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions' first-team defensive units, it's not a far stretch to say that Cleveland is one piece away from making a playoff push.
It's no sure thing that Jenkins is that piece, but for just a third-round pick, it's certainly worth a look.