Former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has reached out to the 49ers to express interest in San Francisco’s head coaching job, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter), and Kelly is far from the only former NFL head coach interested in the position. Per Michael Silver of NFL.com, former Denver and Washington coach Mike Shanahan has also conveyed interest in the job, after interviewing a year ago for the opening.
While it remains to be seen how strongly Kelly’s and Shanahan’s interest in Jim Tomsula‘s old post is reciprocated by the 49ers, it certainly appears as if the team will have no shortage of candidates interested in the role. Former Packers and Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren has also reportedly reached out to San Francisco to let the club know he has interest in the job.
There may be some concern that Shanahan, 63, and Holmgren, 67, could be past their coaching primes, so Kelly could be the most intriguing name of the bunch for the Niners’ decision-makers. A mobile quarterback like Colin Kaepernick could have bounce-back potential under Kelly, who has a strong relationship with 49ers executive Tom Gamble, as Albert Breer of the NFL Network tweets.
In addition to Kelly, Shanahan, and Holmgren, Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson and Saints head coach Sean Payton have been cited as options for the 49ers, though those two men will be more difficult to interview, with Jackson’s club alive and well in the playoffs, and Payton still under contract with New Orleans.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) hears that the Saints will likely want a second-round pick to part ways with Payton, which may deter potential suitors like San Francisco. However, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link) wouldn’t be surprised if the Saints coach is ultimately dealt for a mid-rounder, since he wouldn’t want his new club to give up much.
So far, it doesn’t appear the 49ers have scheduled any formal interviews as they search for Tomsula’s replacement, but that figures to change very soon.