San Francisco 49ers tight end Vance McDonald (89) carries the ball down the field for a touchdown against the Houston Texans at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on August 14, 2016. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

San Francisco 49ers tight end Vance McDonald (89) carries the ball down the field for a touchdown against the Houston Texans at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on August 14, 2016. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

49ers trade favorite of previous regime, Vance McDonald

SANTA CLARA — The 49ers signed Vance McDonald to a three-year, $19.65 million contract extension on Dec. 10, 2016. It was a strange move at the time because the team was 1-11 and clearly preparing to fire general manager Trent Baalke.

McDonald will not get a chance to play a regular season game under the new regime of head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. The tight end was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Tuesday for an undisclosed draft pick, the 49ers announced.

NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports the Niners received a fourth-round selection in exchange.

“We would like to thank Vance for his contributions to this organization on the field and in the community over the last four seasons,” Lynch said in a news release.

McDonald was the 49ers’ leading receiver in three games last season and caught seven touchdowns over his 48-game career.

The trade should open up more time for George Kittle and Logan Paulsen, while giving some assurance to Garrett Celek that he’ll make the team.

Now primed to the be the starter, Kittle was once backup quarterback CJ Beathard’s teammate at the University of Iowa. The offense Kirk Ferentz ran there has drawn several comparisons to Shanahan’s.

“We had pretty similar offenses, so they thought I could fit their scheme pretty well,” Kittle said on Tuesday. “I just tried to take advantage of every opportunity that came my way. I think I did that pretty early on in OTAs. And so they kept feeding me more and more.”

Kyle Juszczyk will be another player utilized out of the tight end position with McDonald gone. He’s a fullback who practices with different positions and has proven himself a valuable pass catcher and blocker.

“I like to think that I bring a little more athleticism to the fullback position than usual,” he said.

jpalmer@sfexaminer.comjohn lynchkyle shanahanNFLPittsburgh SteelersSan Francisco 49ersTrent BaalkeVance McDonald

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Recology executives have acknowledged overcharging city ratepayers. (Mira Laing/2017 Special to S.F. Examiner)
Recology to repay customers $95M in overcharged garbage fees, city attorney says

San Francisco’s waste management company Recology has agreed to repay its customers… Continue reading

A construction worker watches a load for a crane operator at the site of the future Chinatown Muni station for the Central Subway on Tuesday, March 3, 2021. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli / Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Major construction on Central Subway to end by March 31

SFMTA board approves renegotiated contract with new deadline, more contractor payments

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Settlement clears path for all youth, high school sports to resume in California

John Maffei The San Diego Union-Tribune All youth and high school sports… Continue reading

Neighbors and environmental advocates have found the Ferris wheel in Golden Gate Park noisy and inappropriate for its natural setting. <ins>(</ins>
Golden Gate Park wheel wins extension, but for how long?

Supervisors move to limit contract under City Charter provision requiring two-thirds approval

San Francisco school teachers and staff will be able to get vaccinations without delay with the recent distribution of priority codes. 
Shutterstock
SF distributes vaccine priority codes to city schools

San Francisco has received its first vaccine priority access codes from the… Continue reading

Most Read