Jenkins dives into life with Chiefs
Published on -8/21/2013, 9:58 AM
By DAVE SKRETTA
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A.J. Jenkins never thought he'd be back in Kansas City so soon.
The former first-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers played in a preseason game against the Chiefs on Friday night at Arrowhead Stadium.
On Tuesday morning, he was wearing a white shirt with that familiar arrowhead logo while going through a walk-through prior to practice.
Such is the way of the NFL, where life can be turned upside down in a matter of days.
"Things happen. I'm looking for an opportunity," said Jenkins, traded to the Chiefs on Monday for Jon Baldwin in a swap of wide receivers that have so far been disappointments.
"I mean, right now I'm just looking forward to coming out here and being the best Chief I can be," Jenkins said. "It's an opportunity. I ain't got a choice. It's what I have to work with."
Jenkins was the No. 30 overall pick of the 49ers last year after a stellar senior season at Illinois, where he played with current Chiefs guard Jeff Allen.
But the speedy playmaker couldn't barge his way up the depth chart in San Francisco, failing to get on the field until late in the season.
Even then, Jenkins never made a catch in the three games in which he played.
The Chiefs apparently saw enough value in him, though, to offer a fresh start with a change of scenery. They wound up trading Baldwin, the No. 26 overall pick two years ago, after struggling to find a place for his big, physical build in new coach Andy Reid's offensive system.
"We think actually this is going to be good for both teams," Reid said.
"Things happen at different places and sometimes a fresh start can be good for guys for whatever reasons. Sometimes guys just don't fit. ... We'll give him a shot and see how it goes."