Sifting through the heap of names tied to 49ers vacancies

A day after talking about re-establishing a championship culture in Santa Clara, Jed York’s 49ers have been tied to most of the NFL’s desirable head coach and general manager candidates.

What’s clear is that York is not prioritizing one position over the other in his search. Meaning, he won’t necessarily hire a front office executive before a coach.

“I think we need to be open and flexible to structure,” York said Monday. “… Whatever structure is the best with the people that we’re interviewing is the structure that we’re going to go with.”

Here are the GM candidates the team has been tied to, according to media reports:

Jimmy Raye III

Current role: Colts VP of Football Operations

Selling point: His father, Jimmy Raye II, was Indianpolis’s offensive coordinator under Mike Singletary. He’s been in charge of Indianapolis’ roster since 2013.

Reported by: Sacramento Bee’s Matt Barrows

George Paton

Current role: Vikings Assistant GM

Selling point: Has turned down several interviews with other teams in years prior, preferring to stay with his boss, Rick Spielman. Perhaps the 49ers role is enticing after all?

Reported by: CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco

Eliot Wolf

Current role: Packers Director of Football Operations

Selling point: A 34-year-old whiz kid whose family has a rich history in the league. (Keep your head up, Jed — two out of three ain’t bad.

Reported by: USA TODAY Sports

Brian Gutekunst

Current role: Packers Director of Player Personnel

Selling point: Started as a scout for Green Bay, just like Reggie McKenzie, who’s performed more-than-ably in the GM role for another Bay Area NFL team.

Reported by: ESPN’s Adam Schefter

Nick Caserio

Current role: Patriots Director of Player Personnel

Selling point: When paired with New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, they create the symbiotic partnership York was talking about in his press conference.

Reported by:’s Ian Rapoport

Louis Riddick

Current role: ESPN Analyst

Selling point: He thinks the Niners opening is the “most appealing” in the league this offseason and that he “likes what Jed York is trying to do” by clearing house.

Reported by: ESPN’s Adam Schefter

Trent Kirchner

Current role: Seahawks Player Personnel Co-director

Selling point: Played a major part in building the Seattle team that beat Jim Harbaugh in the NFC Championship the last time the 49ers made the playoffs.

Reported by: CBS’s Jason La Canfora

Scott Fitterer

Current role: Seahawks Director of College Scouting

Selling point:  Everything written above about Trent Kirchner goes for Fitterer, but he might be a little cheaper of a get.

Reported by: CBS’s Jason La Canfora

On to the coaches:

Sean McVay

Current role: Washington Offensive Coordinator

Selling point: Turned Kirk Cousins from a QB who threw 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2014 to a guy who could make a rumored $90 million guaranteed this offseason.

Reported by: Fox Sports’ Peter Schrager

Anthony Lynn

Current role: Bills Interim Coach

Selling point: Was beaten out by Chip Kelly a year ago after the team fired Jim Tomsula. So he should be familiar with York’s interviewing style.

Reported by: ESPN’s Mike Rodak  

Kyle Shanahan

Current role: Falcons Offensive Coordinator

Selling point: He might be the most sought-after candidate in the NFL. The 49ers could consider it a coup if he falls to them.

Reported by: CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco  

Josh McDaniels

Current role: Patriots Offensive Coordinator

Selling point: Tim Tebow played so well when he was coached by McDaniels in Denver, people thought he was actually an NFL quarterback.

Reported by: Boston Globe’s Ben Volin

Tom Cable

Current role: Seahawks Offensive Line Coach

Selling point: Marshawn Lynch really liked him when the running back was still in Seattle, so count at least one East Bay resident who still views him favorably.

Reported by: CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco

Doug Marrone

Current role: Jaguars Interim Coach

Selling point: His last three jobs were with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills and Syracuse University, so unstable front offices clearly don’t faze him.

Reported by: CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco

Vance Joseph

Current role: Dolphins Defensive Coordinator

Selling point: Miami had a solid defense despite the unit suffering several injuries this season, proving he could make the most of Trent Baalke’s remaining draft picks.

Reported by: NFL Insider Rand Getlin

Already ruled out

The Chiefs’ director of football operations Chris Ballard declined an interview with the 49ers. But according to, he wasn’t interested in any new jobs. In other words: It’s not you [Niners], it’s me.


According to York, the process will last as long as it takes to find the right combination.

“We need to get it right,” he said. “I don’t expect it to be tomorrow. But when we find the right combination of people, we’re going to get them hired.”

Contact Jacob C. Palmer at or on Twitter, @jacobc_palmer.

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