The San Francisco 49ers were rumored over the weekend to be shopping tight end Vance McDonald. The team spent a fifth round pick on Iowa tight end George Kittle, and while it is not a high pick, Kittle is an intriguing versatile option. I don’t think he is going to be supplanting Vance McDonald immediately, but he’s an intriguing option.
After the draft ended, John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan were asked about the trade rumors, and they offered brutal honesty. Lynch acknowledged that the team had spoken with teams about McDonald. He said that was the nature of a regime change. Lynch said that they did not come to an agreement on anything, and so McDonald will remain with the team. He did say McDonald can fit into their evolving offense.
Shanahan said he called McDonald on Friday, but the latter was at a wedding. Shanahan said he left a lengthy message explaining the situation. McDonald texted back and Shanahan said they would speak on Monday. The 49ers head coach thought McDonald seemed to understand the nature of the business.
And that is where things got particularly honest. Shanahan said the team is always looking to improve the entire roster. He said the team wants everybody that is on the roster, until they can get better. Its a cut-throat business, and Shanahan acknowledged it applies to everybody in the building, including himself. He said that if the Patriots called and offered Tom Brady to the 49ers, but they had to get rid of Shanahan, the 49ers head coach said he would fully expect the 49ers to make the move.
That’s just the nature of the business. It’s a dirty little secret for some, but it’s actually nice to hear the 49ers coach and GM be open about it. Rather than try and hide the dirty side of things, Shanahan and Lynch were as open as they could be. It’s kind of a refreshing change of pace, both for the NFL and the 49ers specifically.
All that being said, Vance McDonald remains a 49er, and will continue with the team in the offseason workout program.