New 49ers Offensive Addition Has Ties to Kyle Shanahan

Kyle Shanahan


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49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan during the December 19 home win versus the Falcons.

The San Francisco 49ers have now signed three players who worked out in front of them during 2022 training camp.

But the newest signing on the afternoon of Friday, August 5 fills one of two open roster spots on the ‘Niners and adds an extra option to a needed area: The slot receiver spot.

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Via the NFL transaction wire, Willie Snead has signed on with the 49ers. Aaron Wilson of the Pro Football Network was first to report that the veteran 5-foot-11, 195-pounder was on his way to a tryout with San Francisco on Friday morning.

Snead’s signing comes off the heels of two transactions the 49ers have made in the last 24 hours: Putting injured tight end Jordan Matthews on injured reserve for a torn ACL and the ‘Niners cutting WR Taysir Mack. The 49ers also signed defensive linemen Tomasi Laulile and Akeem Spence after their workouts.

But for Snead, his arrival to S.F. comes as a reunion.


Snead’s Ties to Shanahan

After putting together a stout college career that saw him catch 89 and 106 passes in his final two seasons at Ball State, plus tally 2,991 receiving yards and score 26 touchdowns per Sports Reference, Snead entered his name in the NFL Draft in 2014 but was never selected.

Eventually, the Cleveland Browns swooped him up as an undrafted free agent. And who was the offensive coordinator at the time? The head coach of the 49ers Kyle Shanahan.

The future 49ers’ coaching leader spent just one season on the Browns’ staff — with that Browns team being led by former first rounder Johnny Manziel. A January 8, 2015 report from ESPN’s Pat McManamon, however, revealed how sources indicated that Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains “didn’t see eye-to-eye” with the Browns’ front office about Manziel getting the QB1 duties. McManamon added in his story “Shanahan felt the decision to start Manziel was forced on the coaching staff, and that the yearlong insistence to play him when he wasn’t ready wore on Shanahan, the team source said.”

Snead, meanwhile, was trying to mak