49ers TE applauds Kyle Shanahan for trade talks

Feb 9, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan during a press conference at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers tight end Vance McDonald was on the trade block during the 2017 NFL Draft. It’s not something that was kept quiet from the media. San Francisco’s new brass, head coach Kyle Shanahan included, would ultimately make it known that McDonald was in fact on the block.

But a trade never came to fruition. San Francisco didn’t find an offer to its liking for the former second-round pick, and he will now compete for a starting spot during training camp.

The 49ers’ willingness to publicly disclose that McDonald was in fact mentioned as trade bait seemed a bit surprising to the masses.

Though, it was Shanahan’s willingness to keep McDonald in the loop that surprised the tight end.

“The first thing I told him (Shanahan) was, ‘Man, there aren’t a lot of coaches that would do this,’” McDonald said of his talk with Shanahan, via CSN Bay Area. “He just wanted to fill me in.”

This has to be considered good news for 49ers fans. Prior to cleaning house following a two-win 2016 campaign, this team’s front office was seen as an absolute joke around the NFL.

That’s since changed after San Francisco brought in Shanahan to coach and former NFL safety John Lynch to become the team’s general manager. It was evident during both free agency and the draft, where the 49ers pretty much overhauled a talent-stricken roster.

If McDonald’s sentiment is shared by others on the team, that most definitely can’t be seen as a bad thing. It’s a clear indication that things are changing for the better in San Francisco.

McDonald, a second-round pick out of Rice back in 2013, has struggled to play a major role on the 49ers. He’s tallied a grand total of 64 receptions in four seasons. Despite this, the 49ers’ old brass figured it to be prudent to hand him a three-year, $19.7 million deal last December. It remains to be seen if he figures into Shanahan’s plans moving forward.