49ers

Follow the money: Tracing McDonald's extension and trades

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USATSI

Follow the money: Tracing McDonald's extension and trades

Then-49ers general manager Trent Baalke made the announcement on Dec. 9 that the organization had secured free-agent-to-be Vance McDonald to a long-term contract.

In a statement, Baalke, who would be fired three weeks later, said of the tight end:

"Vance has shown consistent growth throughout his four-year career and his production this season is the result of his dedication and hard work. We believe he has only scratched the surface of what he will be able to accomplish in his career. Vance is a tremendous ambassador for the 49ers, and his passion for helping others provides a wonderful example for this organization. We look forward to his continued contributions to this organization, both on and off the field.”

If McDonald had remained for the duration of the five-year contract and played in every game, he would have earned $32.5 million from the 49ers.

Instead, the 49ers paid McDonald a signing bonus of $7 million for never playing another snap with the team. The rest of the money he receives will come from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

On Tuesday, McDonald was traded to the Steelers for an exchange of draft picks. The 49ers receive Pittsburgh’s fourth-round pick in 2018, while the 49ers sent their 2018 fifth-round selection to the Steelers.

“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 was paid a bunch of money,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said Wednesday on KNBR.

“But that’s also understood that when a new regime comes in, they’re going to see things differently. We saw the best fit for our organization was to do something.”

The McDonald trade ties in with the 49ers’ draft-day deal with the Denver Broncos. The 49ers are back in the fourth round of the 2018 draft after sending their pick to the Broncos. Here’s how the two trades fit together:

49ERS RECEIVE
--Running back Kapri Bibbs (from Denver)
--Wide receiver Trent Taylor (in trade with Denver for 2017 fifth-round pick)
--2018 fourth-round pick (from Pittsburgh)

49ERS GIVE UP
--TE Vance McDonald (to Pittsburgh)
--2018 fourth-round pick (to Denver)
--2018 fifth-round pick (to Pittsburgh)

* * *

49ERS 2018 DRAFT PICKS
1. First round: Own pick
2. Second round: Own pick
3. Second round: New Orleans pick acquired in 2017 draft-day trade
4. Third round: Own pick
5. Third round: Chicago pick acquired in 2017 draft-day trade
6. Fourth round: Pittsburgh pick acquired in 2017 trade of Vance McDonald
7. Sixth round: Own pick
8. Seventh round: Own pick
9. Seventh round: Kansas City pick acquired in 2016 trade of Kenneth Acker

Former 49ers lineman Keith Fahnhorst, 66, passes away

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AP

Former 49ers lineman Keith Fahnhorst, 66, passes away

Keith Fahnhorst, who played 14 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and started on two Super Bowl-winning teams, died on Tuesday. He was 66.

Fahnhorst was among a large group of players from the 49ers’ first Super Bowl championship team that gathered at Levi’s Stadium in October in a celebration of Dwight Clark. Fahnhorst and Clark were teammates for the 49ers’ Super Bowl-titlle teams of 1981 and 1984. Clark passed away on June 6 from ALS.

Fahnhorst, who was in a wheelchair during his trip to the Bay Area last season, battled many physical ailments since his career ended in 1987. He was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease and underwent a kidney transplant in 2002. Fahnhorst was also later diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis.

A second-round draft pick of the 49ers in 1974 from the University of Minnesota, Fahnhorst was a mainstay at right tackle as the organization struggled in the mid-to-late 1970s, then found success in the 1980s under coach Bill Walsh.

“Everybody knew they could count on Keith,” Walsh said in the 2005 book, “San Francisco 49ers: Where Have Gone?”

Fahnhorst appeared in 193 regular-season games, ranking behind only Len Rohde among offensive linemen in 49ers history. He started 170 games, including all 10 postseason games in which he appeared. He was named to the NFC Pro Bowl team and was selected as a first-team All-Pro after the 1984 season. He was a two-time winner of the Bobb McKittrick Award for best representing the courage, intensity and sacrifice displayed by the longtime 49ers offensive line coach.

Keith Fahnhorst and his younger brother, Jim, were 49ers teammates for the final four years of Keith’s career. Jim Fahnhorst, a linebacker, played for the 49ers from 1984 to 1990. Neither Keith nor Jim Fahnhorst played for any NFL team other than the 49ers.

Jimmy Garoppolo focuses on 49ers' red-zone efficiency

Jimmy Garoppolo focuses on 49ers' red-zone efficiency

SANTA CLARA – In Jimmy Garoppolo’s first three starts last season, the 49ers’ won games in spite of a lousy red-zone offense.

The 49ers were 0-for-5 in converting possessions inside the Chicago Bears’ 20-yards line into touchdowns. They were 2-for-4 against the Houston Texans, and just 1-of-4 against the Tennessee Titans.

That would explain why Garoppolo singled out the team’s red-zone offense as an area he would like to see the team continue to improve.

“I think a big part for us, as a whole, offensively is just finishing in the end zone,” Garoppolo said Wednesday on the final day of the team’s offseason program.

“Last year we got stopped short a couple of times, more than we’d like to. And I think we’ve done a good job in OTAs and minicamp of finishing in the end zone, for the most part. Finishing drives and stuff like that.”

The 49ers finished the season strong in the red zone, converting 11 of their red-zone trips into eight touchdowns in games against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Rams.

In 24 red-zone trips in the five games Garoppolo started, the 49ers scored 11 touchdowns and settled for 12 field goals. He also threw one interception. Garoppolo said the 49ers have enough weapons in the passing game to account for the added difficulty of scoring on those possessions.

“Those are point plays,” Garoppolo said. “They’re either seven-point plays or three-point plays. You know what I mean? Those are the ones that really matter.

The competition between offense and defense has led to some spirited matchups in practices. Garoppolo has routinely looked to tight ends George Kittle and team favorite Garrett Celek to get the touchdown celebrations going.

“It’s hard to complete touchdowns, especially in the red zone like that,” Garoppolo said. “Windows are tighter. Not as much room. So especially when Celek gets one, it gets everyone going.”