While the 49ers have interviewed former Washington and Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan, the Niners’ main focus is deciding whether they’re better off going with a big hire like Shanahan, or if they can take the time to develop a young coach such as Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase or Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, writes Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (via Twitter).
- 49ers‘ CEO Jed York did say Shanahan was high on his list of candidates, writes Cole (via Twitter).
- Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group responded to Cole’s tweet by noting that York stated he wants the next coach to be with the team for 10 years (via Twitter). Shanahan is already 62 years old.
- Pro Football Talk adds that Shanahan would be much easier to deal with than Harbaugh was, which is a big plus after the most recent coaching situation (via Twitter).
- Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has drawn strong interest as a head coaching candidate, but his top choice for general manager and partner was Vikings assistant GM George Paton, writes Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Unfortunately, Paton decided not to interview with the Jets or Bears, and will remain with the Vikings.
- The Cardinals are currently playing the Panthers in the Wild Card round, and star receiver Larry Fitzgerald could be in his final game with the team, writes Kevin Patra of NFL.com. Patra notes that colleague Ian Rapoport reported the team is expected to ask Fitzgerald to take a pay cut after the season, but no official decision has been made.
- Cardinals nose tackle Dan Williams could draw interest in free agency this offseason, writes Rich Tandler of CSNWashington.com. Williams could be set up for a contract in the range of $6MM per year, and the team’s cap situation might make it difficult to keep.