The San Francisco 49ers waived wide receiver Jon Baldwin and claimed wide out L'Damian Washington off waivers from the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
The Niners signed Brandon Lloyd, traded for Stevie Johnson and drafted Bruce Ellington this offseason in order to strengthen the wide receiver position behind starters Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin. As the acquisitions piled up, it became increasingly obvious that the coaching staff was not confident in Baldwin should he have to fill in at any point this season. According to the Sacramento Bee's Matt Barrows, Baldwin's training camp, "has not looked good. At all."
In his lone season with the 49ers Baldwin appeared in seven games and only caught three passes for 28 yards and zero touchdowns. Originally drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs, Baldwin had two sub-par seasons with the Chiefs averaging 20 receptions, 290 yards and one TD over that span; certainty disappointing considering KC used a first round pick (26th overall to be exact) to select Baldwin in 2011.
The Niners believed a change of scenery would light a fire under Baldwin when they traded wide receiver A.J. Jenkins for him. Jenkins, a former first round pick as well (30th overall in 2012) fell out of favor with the Niners before the start of last season as he was coming off a rookie year where he only appeared in three games while hauling in zero catches.
Washington was undrafted during this year's NFL draft, but was later signed by the Cowboys. He played four years at Missouri and caught 50 passes for 893 yards with 10 touchdowns during his final season.
Listed as 6'4" and roughly 195 pounds when drafted, Washington's best quality may be his speed and he backed that up as his 40-yard dash was clocked in at 4.39 seconds. However, according to NFL.com's draft scouting report, concerns about his hands affected his draft chances as he has been labeled as a body-catcher and while he his long armed, his skinny build puts his long-term durability into question.
It was announced on Monday that the Detroit Lions have claimed Baldwin.
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Tags: A.J. Jenkins, Anquan Boldin, Brandon Lloyd, Bruce Ellington, Football, Jon Baldwin, L'Damian Washington, Michael Crabtree, NFL, San Francisco, San Francisco 49ers, Stevie Johnson