Tight end Vance McDonald, who had the best season of his career in 2016 and whom the 49ers signed to a lucrative contract extension in December, is available in a trade.
Michael Lombardi, a former NFL executive, wrote on Twitter that McDonald, 26, was available in a trade, despite a new five-year deal that McDonald signed in December that is worth as much as $35 million.
The deal was made when Trent Baalke, who drafted McDonald in the second round in 2013, still was the 49ers general manager. Baalke was fired less than a month later, and the team replaced him with John Lynch.
McDonald averaged more than 16 yards a reception last year and caught four touchdowns, one of them for 75 yards. But he may not fit the tough-guy persona the 49ers are trying to instill this year. McDonald frequently has come out of games following big hits and has yet to play a full 16-game season.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
McDonald and Logan Paulsen, a free-agent acquisition, lined up with the first-team offense during the team’s minicamp. The 49ers also have Garrett Celek, Je’Ron Hamm and Blake Bell at the position but could draft a tight end. Iowa’s George Kittle visited the team this month and they worked out Clemson’s Jordan Leggett.
Shrugging it off -- First-round draft pick Reuben Foster on Friday disputed a report in USA Today that he might need a second shoulder surgery.
“That’s not accurate at all,” the linebacker said. “I’m fine. I’m on schedule.”
Foster had a procedure to repair a torn, right rotator cuff following the college season. He said he’ll be a limited participant in the 49ers’ spring practices.
“Training camp -- I’ll be full go,” he said. “But if it’s my decision, I think I can go now.”
Thomas’ weight -- Solomon Thomas said he weighs about 270 pounds now but hat he plans to play at 275 pounds. That compares nicely with Seattle’s Michael Bennett, who plays the left defensive end spot that Thomas may end up playing with the 49ers.