49ers trade TE Vernon Davis to Broncos

A day before Tuesday's trading deadline, the 49ers have moved on from their most tenured player.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The 49ers are trading tight end Vernon Davis to the Denver Broncos, as confirmed by Denver's executive VP of football operations John Elway on Twitter.

Davis, San Francisco's longest-tenured player, hasn't been the same player the last two seasons as he was in 2013, when he tied a career high with 13 touchdown catches.

“On behalf of the entire 49ers organization, I would like to thank Vernon for his decade of contributions to this team and our community,” said 49ers general manager Trent Baalke in a statement. “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.”

Over the last two seasons combined, Davis has 44 catches for 439 yards and just two touchdowns, both coming in last year's season opening win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Davis, a two-time Pro-Bowl selection, is San Francisco's all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns by a tight end.

The 49ers drafted Davis with the sixth-overall pick in 2006, but the Maryland alum didn't become a major contributor until the fourth year of his career, when he notched 13 touchdowns for the first time in 2009, which was the same season he set career marks with 78 catches for 965 yards.

Of course, Davis is responsible for one of the most famous touchdown catches in 49ers playoff history, when he made a last-minute touchdown grab against the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round of the 2011 postseason.

ESPN is reporting the 49ers are sending Davis and a 2016 seventh-round pick to Denver. In return, they will receive sixth-round picks in 2016 and 2017 in the deal.

Davis will join quarterback Peyton Manning, 39, who has the lowest passer rating, 75.1, since his rookie season's mark of 71.2. But Denver remains undefeated following its 29-10 win Sunday night over the Packers.

The Broncos have the NFL's 17th-ranked offense and lost tight end Julius Thomas last spring to the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency. With Denver, Thomas notched back-to-back 12-touchdown seasons in 2013 and 2014 with Manning at quarterback.

At 2-6, the 49ers have the league's lowest-ranked offense in both yardage and scoring, while Davis had the second-most catches on the team with 18.

Davis' base salary this season is $4.35 million in addition to $400,000 in per-game roster bonuses, which means the Broncos will pay him upwards of $2.51 million for the remainder of the season.

The 49ers remaining tight ends are Vance McDonald, Garrett Celek and rookie Blake Bell. Celek left Sunday's loss to the Rams to get evaluated for a concussion and is currently in the league's concussion protocol, head coach Jim Tomsula said Monday.


Chris Biderman is the Editor-in-Chief of Niners Digest and covers the 49ers from their headquarters in Santa Clara. Chris has been writing about the team since the spring of 2013. The Ohio State alum received his Journalism degree in 2011 and has been working in sports media since 2008. Chris, a Santa Rosa, Calif. native, is also a contributor to the Associated Press covering sports throughout the Bay Area. You can follow Chris on Twitter here.

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