Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


Would Kyle Shanahan use leverage over 49ers to get his dad a job?

Jan 27, 2017 at 12:10 PM0


Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan holds all the cards right now. Being the only remaining candidate for the head coaching job, Shanahan can pretty much, within reason, ask for whatever he wants from the San Francisco 49ers. That doesn't necessarily mean that he would, just that he holds tremendous leverage over the team waiting for him to finish his Super Bowl run so they can officially hire him.

A report from Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk surfaced on Friday that the younger Shanahan might use that leverage to get his father, Mike Shanahan, a job within the 49ers organization. "There's increasing chatter in league circles that Kyle Shanahan will try to get his father a job in San Francisco, forcing the team to bite its tongue and do what it doesn't want to do in order to avoid having to go back to the drawing board to hire a coach at a time when the team has been settled on Kyle Shanahan," wrote Florio.

That position, if it comes to that, would not likely be as the team's general manager. The 49ers will meet with Shanahan on Friday night to iron out the details of the meetings that will take place on Saturday with Minnesota Vikings assistant general manager George Paton and Arizona Cardinals vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough. It is very likely that one of those two names will end up as the general manager with the 49ers and that a decision could be made as early as Saturday night. If both those meetings go south, the 49ers would reportedly be willing to reopen the general manager search.

Mike Shanahan was involved in the 49ers' search for a head coach last year, but the team ultimately decided to hire Chip Kelly. The previous year, the 49ers met with Shanahan for six hours before deciding to hire Jim Tomsula as their head coach. Shortly after news surfaced that Jim Harbaugh would be fired following the 2014 season, there was a report that general manager Trent Baalke had reached out to Shanahan. However, it is unknown how far those talks went.

That means that Mike Shanahan has been linked to the 49ers in some capacity during each of their three coaching hires over the past three years. It was inevitable that his name would become linked to the current search. That doesn't necessarily mean that Mike Shanahan will have a formal role within the organization coached by his son. All signs have shown that the elder Shanahan would be welcome at practices and as a sounding board for his son, but that Kyle Shanahan is now looking to carve his own path within the organization that once employed his father. There was also a report – again by Florio – in December that the 49ers were not looking to hire Shanahan in any capacity.

Kyle Shanahan has already fulfilled the dream of coaching with his father, an experience that he feels has made him stronger. "There's no doubt it was worth it," Shanahan told Peter King of TheMMQB. "If my dad had ever passed away and I had never coached with him before, that's something that would have been real hard on me because that's something I wanted to do my whole life. I got that opportunity. I wish it could have gone a little bit better. But I think it was something I needed to do. Even though it was hard, it made me stronger and I wouldn't take it back for anything. My dad and I have always been close and that was the first time I really got to see him as a coach, being a coach, and he's a hell of a coach. I don't regret anything there."

Everyone seems to be assuming that because Shanahan has great leverage over the 49ers, that he will choose to use it. That hasn't sounded like the case so far. There have even been reports that final say over the 53-man roster was not a deal breaker for Shanahan to come to the 49ers; although, he will likely get it anyway.

Of course, there is the possibility that 49ers CEO Jed York would welcome Mike Shanahan in some official role. After all, Kyle Shanahan and the new general manager will ultimately decide who stays and who goes among the coaching staff and front office. If they want Shanahan in there in some role, would York veto the decision? Having Mike Shanahan with the organization in some sort of advisory role would in no way be a bad thing. It just seems doubtful that such a request by Kyle Shanahan would be a deal breaker – for Shanahan or the 49ers.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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