Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports



On Tuesday, the San Francisco 49ers were finally able to deal the tight end they attempted to trade during the draft and sent Vance McDonald to the Pittsburgh Steelers in return for moving up a round in next year's draft. On Wednesday, general manager John Lynch spoke of the trade for the first time during an interview on the "Murph & Mac" show on KNBR.

Lynch stated that the trade came down to the tight end's fit with the team. When Lynch spoke to McDonald yesterday, he let McDonald know that he has become a better tight end after an offseason with head coach Kyle Shanahan. Lynch feels that McDonald will have a much better chance with the Steelers, who have a role for the former 49ers second-round pick.

"We have great depth at that position," Lynch said. "I don't think people are going to look and say we've got the Jimmy Grahams of the world but we felt very comfortable. We've got a bunch of NFL players at our tight end position. It's tough to look at your owner, who just gave Vance a big deal last year and say, 'Hey, we feel like we're going to move in a different direction,' because he just was paid a bunch of money. But that's also understood that when new regimes come in, they're going to see things differently and we saw the best fit for our organization was to do something."

Lynch went on to say that the 49ers have a lot of confidence in rookie tight end George Kittle, who has been impressive throughout the offseason and preseason. The general manager said Kittle is fast, blocks well, and has the ability to separate from defenders.

"We're just extremely high on him," Lynch said of Kittle. "He's shown that he can be an all-around tight end."

The 49ers feel very confident about the group of tight ends that remain on the roster. McDonald isn't the only tight end that the team has received calls about and there remains a possibility that more moves could take place prior to Saturday's roster cut-down deadline.

The cornerback position is one of the biggest question marks on the 49ers' defense. One player who might be able to solidify the group is Joe Haden. The Cleveland Browns attempted to find a trade partner for the 28-year-old but were ultimately forced to release Haden on Wednesday. Lynch said that he and Shanahan would discuss the possibility of signing the cornerback, who can now be had at a much more reasonable price.


"We've been watching Joe, just like players throughout this league, for a while," Lynch said. "There's been some conjecture that maybe this would be the ultimate result in Cleveland. So, like with any other player, we've been doing our due diligence and we will always try to improve our team when we feel like we can.

"So, going through that process right now. If we feel like he can help us at that position, then we'll get involved and get active. We're in that process right now. Kyle and I haven't talked about it since it actually became a reality so we'll do that probably right after we hang up (from this interview) and see where we go."

You can listen to the entire interview with Lynch below.