49ers trade for Ginn
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) – Mike Singletary called Ted Ginn Jr. on Friday to personally welcome him to the San Francisco 49ers.
The fastest draft bust in Miami Dolphins’ history is bound for the Bay Area – filling one of the Niners’ biggest offseason needs in the process, and giving Ginn a well-timed fresh start across the country in the NFC West.
“We added a talented player that fit a need,” Singletary said. “He’s a bundle of potential and his upside is off the charts. This guy can fly.”
Ginn, a receiver and quality return man, was traded to the 49ers on Friday for a fifth-round pick – the 145th overall selection. The Dolphins had him on the block even before they acquired Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall on Wednesday from the Denver Broncos.
While Ginn wasn’t sure he was on his way out when Miami got Marshall, he had a pretty good idea.
“If you know the game and you know the business, you are ready for anything,” he said on a conference call. “I’m just going to come into the 49ers and show ’em what I got.”
Dolphins fans began booing Ginn the day he was drafted and never stopped. Taken with the ninth overall pick in 2007, he made only five touchdown catches in three seasons while averaging 13.0 yards per reception.
Ginn was more successful on special teams, scoring on kickoff returns of 100 and 101 yards in the same quarter of a game against the New York Jets last season. He became the first player with two kickoff returns of at least 100 yards in the same game.
That kind of explosive play-making ability in the return game is exactly what San Francisco was seeking after several different players Singletary tried last season couldn’t do a reliable job. Ginn hasn’t regularly returned punts since his rookie season, but he’s eager to take on that role for a 49ers team that finished 8-8 and ended a franchise-worst stretch of six straight losing campaigns.
“That’s one of the things I like to do,” Ginn said. “We haven’t really talked about depth charts or playing time. They are welcoming me with open arms and I’m going to come in and just compete and be the player that I am. Just let my play talk for whatever needs to be said. … (Singletary) called today and said he was happy I was coming to the 49ers; it’s a great situation for him and me.”
This was the first big move made by the 49ers since the abrupt departure of general manager Scot McCloughan last month. Team president Jed York called it a “mutual parting” and immediately put director of player personnel Trent Baalke in charge of the draft and everything leading up to it.
Baalke said Thursday he would be both patient and aggressive in his approach to acquiring players.
“We’re going to get the players we have targeted, I promise you that,” Baalke said.
The Dolphins still have receivers Brian Hartline, Davone Bess and Greg Camarillo as complements to Marshall. In San Francisco, Ginn will be paired with Michael Crabtree.
“I’ve still got hopes of being an elite receiver,” Ginn said, acknowledging special teams as an asset to his game. “I’m just going to come in and do both.”
The 49ers hope Ginn can fulfill the potential he showed at Ohio State, where he tied an NCAA record with eight touchdown returns.
When Miami’s selection of Ginn was announced at a team draft party, fans jeered – they wanted Brady Quinn. The decision was frequently mocked by detractors of coach Cam Cameron, who lasted only one season.
Ginn drew criticism for running poor routes and shying away from contact. Last season he lost his job as a starting receiver and totaled only 38 receptions for 454 yards and one score.
“I wouldn’t say a sense of relief but it’s always good to have a new start. Leaving Miami, I don’t hold and grudges and no bad feelings about anything. My time was up there. I enjoyed it there and now it’s time to move on,” Ginn said. “There’s no bad blood. It’s the best decision for both of us.”
Now under the Bill Parcells regime, the Dolphins announced the trade in a one-sentence release and had no further comment.
While Ginn had been taking part in Miami’s offseason workouts, he’s ready to shift gears and get settled at the 49ers’ Santa Clara headquarters.
“Whenever they send for me,” he said of when he would show up.
AP Sports Writer Steven Wine in Miami contributed to this story.