Today, it was announced that the 49ers had traded much maligned tight end Vance McDonald and a 2018 fifth round pick to the Steelers in exchange for a 2018 fourth round pick.
McDonald never realised the potential his athletic traits promised in the Bay, where he was best known for dropping catches. He did make some splash plays in 2016, enough to earn a big contract extension from outgoing GM Trent Baalke. However, the drafting of versatile and athletic rookie George Kittle by the new regime, coupled with reports that the 49ers were seeking to trade McDonald, signalled that the new regime were keen to cut ties with their newly resigned tight end.
Though the 49ers will have to swallow a dead cap hit for shifting McDonald, they have now regained a fourth round pick having traded their own pick to the Broncos in the draft day trade that netted Kapri Bibbs (and later Trent Taylor). The 49ers now have six picks in the first four rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft.
They will move on with Kittle, Logan Paulsen, Cole Hikutini, Garrett Celek and Blake Bell at the tight end position. Reports are that the 49ers may look to trade another tight end however. That man could be Celek, after the 49ers were suspiciously talking up the player earlier in the offseason despite him having produced little as a pro. Bell could also be an option, as some teams may well be intrigued by his blend of size and athleticism and would therefore be willing to take a chance on him.