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A.J. Jenkins signed four-year rookie deal with 49ers

After a rocky first act to his offseason, A.J. Jenkins officially is a member of the San Francisco 49ers.

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The rookie wide receiver signed a four-year deal Wednesday, the team announced. Terms of the deal were undisclosed, but Matt Maiocco of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area reported the total at $6.9 million.

Jenkins, the 30th overall pick out of Illinois, struggled at 49ers minicamp, giving way to whispers he could open training camp fifth on the depth chart.

It's a crowded house at wideout. Coach Jim Harbaugh spent the offseason stocking up at the position to help quarterback Alex Smith and the passing attack shift out of first gear in 2012. Jenkins has to work his way up through a group that includes Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss, Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams. Hints were dropped that undrafted pass-catchers Nathan Palmer and Bryan Tyms have outplayed the team's top pick. Not exactly household names.

Jenkins grew up adoring Moss. We'd advise the rookie to stick close to Randy -- and keep Jerry Rice on speed-dial -- between now and the season.

It's too early to put a grade on Jenkins' slow start. He has time to shut out the critics and make up ground. The 49ers expect nothing less.

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