Updates from Monday, August 4
Michael Schottey of Bleacher Report reported on Jon Baldwin's next destination:
Detroit Lions have claimed WR Jon Baldwin— Michael Schottey (@Schottey) August 4, 2014
The San Francisco 49ers have officially waived Jon Baldwin after an underwhelming 2013 campaign and a rough start to training camp this summer:
Baldwin arrived in San Francisco a little less than a year ago, traded away for fellow first-round disappointment A.J. Jenkins. He appeared in seven games with the Niners last year, making three catches for 28 yards.
The 24-year-old was cut in order to make room for L'Damian Washington, who was let go by the Dallas Cowboys earlier in the week. Bleacher Report's Matt Miller thought that San Francisco made the smart move swapping Baldwin out for the undrafted rookie:
Definitely like L'Damian Washington's potential over Jon Baldwin's right now. 49ers going for youth, upside.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) August 3, 2014
Washington recorded 100 receptions for 1,735 yards and 15 touchdowns in four years at Missouri. He's both younger and less expensive than Baldwin, so it's easy to see why the 49ers acted as they did.
The former Pittsburgh Panther has been a major bust since being selected 26th overall in the 2011 draft. He caught 41 passes for 579 yards with the Kansas City Chiefs before being traded to the Bay Area. Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle thought that for a player with a ton to prove, Baldwin wasn't having a very good preseason:
Before he was waived, #49ers WR Jon Baldwin was moving as if he was severely sleep deprived in practices.— Eric Branch (@Eric_Branch) August 3, 2014
He's still pretty young, though, so this isn't necessarily the end for Baldwin in the NFL. There was a reason the Chiefs took him in the first round, and he has good size at 6'4", 230 pounds. Some other team will likely be tempted to take the chance that he can fulfill some of the promise he showed in college.
Being replaced by an undrafted rookie is a rather damning indictment of a player's ability, though, especially before the team's first preseason game.
Perhaps Washington can provide some depth for the Niners at wideout heading into the 2014 season. They'll need all the help they can get to make it through the loaded NFC West.