In a shocking development, the 49ers were shopping tight end, Vance McDonald, during the NFL Draft. It isn’t based on the tight end’s play or anything personal, but rather team interest. When pressed on this issue, John Lynch replied,
I think that’s the reality of new regimes coming in. That’s not to say he can’t fit into our scheme. Frankly, we received some interest from some other people, and then we did explore some options throughout the league with Vance.
McDonald is getting a lot of interest
It’s not hard to see why teams are so intrigued by the former Rice University Owl. McDonald finished 2016 with career numbers in nearly every major statistical category during his injury-shortened season. He exceeded expectations last year after being labeled “stone hands” for most of his career.
However, the trade discussions have dissolved, and it seems as if McDonald is staying with the 49ers. He understands the situation that was going on with the 49ers regime in the draft war room. When discussing his side of the McDonald dilemma, Shanahan said,
It wasn’t just Vance, but we did it with Vance because people were interested. … From the texts that Vance sent me, I think he knows it’s nothing personal.
There is no bitterness at this point, which is important for the team during these rebuilding times.
McDonald’s place on the team
The 49ers already have Je’Ron Hamm, Blake Bell, and Garrett Celek. They also drafted George Kittle in the fifth round. This won’t change the fact that McDonald was the most productive tight end on the team’s roster.
He will continue to take over as the team’s starting tight end and will be utilized in every way possible in Shanahan’s offensive scheme.