The San Francisco 49ers have lost yet another former franchise face, as the team officially announced that they will trade TE Vernon Davis to the Denver Broncos in exchange for future draft compensation.
The trade — first announced by ESPN’s Adam Schefter — will give the 49ers a 6th round pick from the Broncos in both the 2016 and 2017 drafts in exchange for Davis and this years’ 7th round pick. The move will mark the end of Davis’ 10-year run with the 49ers, who drafted him out of the University of Maryland.
He leaves the team as the franchise leader amongst tight ends in all time receiving yards (5,640), receptions (441), and touchdowns (55) in his 10 seasons with the team.
Shortly after the trade was officially announced on Monday afternoon, general manager Trent Baalke released this statement regarding the departed tight end:
“On behalf of the entire 49ers organization, I would like to thank Vernon for his decade of contributions to this team and our community. Not only has he contributed to some of the most memorable moments in franchise history, but he has also positively impacted the lives of many others through his efforts in the community. We wish Vernon and his family continued success in both football and life.”
Davis has been largely unproductive as a member of the 49ers over the past two seasons, turning in career lows in receiving yards and touchdowns in 2014, and having just 18 receptions for 194 and no touchdowns during this year’s campaign.
Davis has also been an alleged source of internal strife in the locker room, as it was reported last week that Davis was involved in a verbal altercation with T Joe Staley over the level of QB Colin Kaepernick’s play thus far.
The move leaves the 49ers with three tight ends available on their roster, with Vance McDonald likely assuming starting duties, and Garrett Celek and fourth-round pick Blake Bell serving as the backups.
Davis’ trade marks the second time the 49ers will have shipped away a tight end this year, having traded Asante Cleveland to the New England Patriots for OL Jordan Devey in August.
The Niners will have received the lowest-graded guard in the league according to Pro Football Focus and a pair of sixth-round picks for their troubles.
Davis-a former number six overall pick in the 2006 draft- has had his shares of ups-and-downs during his tenure with the 49ers, but was an integral part of the team’s offensive versatility in years past.
Davis’ mixture of size and speed made him one of the elite tight ends in the NFL at points during his career, earning him two Pro Bowl honors in ten years of service.
McDonald-the second round pick of the 2013 draft-has been somewhat of a bust for the 49ers since joining the team. Considered an elite receiving tight-end out of Rice University, the 25-year old has struggled with dropped passes throughout his NFL Career.
He currently sits as the 49ers seventh leading receiver in 2015, having hauled in seven catches for 45 yards and zero touchdowns thus far.
Although Davis was underperforming yet again this year, his versatility added a hint of threat to the 49ers singular and predictable offense. It remains to be seen how Davis’ departure will affect offensive coordinator Geep Chryst’s scheme from here on out.