It was reported earlier today that the San Francisco 49ers are expected to part ways with head coach Jim Tomsula following today's season finale against the St. Louis Rams at Levi's Stadium. The job isn't even officially available yet and names of interested candidates are already starting to pop up.
The first is more speculation than anything else at this point. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport brought up the fact that, last year, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, who is expected to be allowed to explore his options, may have been interested in the 49ers head coaching job. Payton still has two years left on his contract so compensation for him becomes an issue.
If the #49ers make a move, worth noting: Last year, a person close to Sean Payton made it known he'd consider the SF job if he was free.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 3, 2016
NFL Network's Michael Silver is reporting that both Chip Kelly, the former Philadelphia Eagles head coach, and Mike Shanahan, who was interested in the job last year, would be interested in taking over. He went as far as saying that the two have already reached out to the 49ers to express their interest.
Among those who have reached out to express interest in a potential 49ers opening: Chip Kelly and Mike Shanahan. Others to come...— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) January 3, 2016
Thanks to beat writer Ryan Sakamoto of Ninerfans.com for pointing this news out.
This past week, former Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren publicly expressed interest in the 49ers job as well. He too was interested last year, but that interest was one sided as the 49ers themselves never reached out to him.
Earlier today, FOX Sports' Jay Glazer reported that the 49ers would like to lure a "big fish," but many are leery about working with Baalke. These reports seem to contradict that notion.
Earlier during their disastrous season, there was a report from Cole stating that the team was leaning toward keeping Tomsula as long as the team competed down the stretch. However, they have been unable to do so and a disgruntled fan base may have changed those plans.
There has been increasing pressure from the Niner Faithful to make a significant change. Fans even went as far as to pay for banners to be flown over two 49ers home games this season. Those banners expressed their disgust with team CEO Jed York. York has been unwilling to address the media or fans until the completion of the season.
Hired as the team's 19th head coach in franchise history, Tomsula has served in the position since being promoted on January 14th of 2015, following the dismissal of Jim Harbaugh after a 2014 season where San Francisco finished with an 8-8 record. Prior to that, Tomsula served as the team's defensive line coach since the 2007 season.