Although things could change very quickly, the 49ers are pleased with what they have seen from rookie head coach/GM tandem Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch during their brief tenures with the club. However, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that San Francisco “intently pursued” Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and player personnel director Nick Caserio this offseason and came very close to hiring both.
This does not sound much different than what we heard back in January, when McDaniels and Caserio were considered the runaway favorites to become the 49ers’ head coach and GM, respectively, and it was reported that McDaniels only withdrew his name from consideration when Caserio declined to interview with San Francisco. Both men have been very discerning when considering their next landing spot, and for good reason, considering their success and relative job security in New England. It is unclear as to why Caserio opted not to interview with the 49ers, but according to La Canfora, the possibility of a McDaniels/Caserio tandem in the Bay Area was even more real than it originally appeared. They remain a potential package deal, and they could leave the Pats in 2018 if the right opportunity arises.
Now for more from La Canfora:
- The CBS Sports scribe reports that Browns head coach Hue Jackson is “irate” with the team’s decision to release Joe Haden, and that Haden’s release has intensified the tensions between the coach and the front office, specifically GM Sashi Brown. Jackson is particularly angry because the release had no football merit and, in his view, was clearly a salary dump even though Cleveland could have easily carried Haden’s salary on its books (although it was reported that the Browns did at least try to trade Haden prior to cutting him). We have heard previously that Jackson would get every opportunity to right the ship in Cleveland, but given the apparently shaky relationship that he has with the club’s personnel department, that may not be the case.
- La Canfora writes that Colts QB Andrew Luck will miss several more weeks as he continues to recover from recover from offseason shoulder surgery. That is consistent with reports from earlier this week suggesting that Luck could be on the sidelines until sometime in October. Per La Canfora, Luck is expected to practice sooner rather than later and the plan is for him to ramp up his throwing regimen shortly. Indianapolis, of course, does not want to rush the face of its franchise, but if Luck cannot suit up for a few more weeks — and it would be unfair to expect him to perform to the best of his abilities immediately upon returning to the field — it is fair to wonder whether the Colts have any chance at a postseason push in 2017.
- We heard back in August that Le’Veon Bell turned down a lucrative extension offer from the Steelers at the eleventh hour, and La Canfora writes that the star back would have actually received $18MM in the first year of the deal. However, the average annual value of the extension was $13MM over the first three years, and Bell has been adamant that his next contract pay him $15MM per year. Contrary to that August report, La Canfora says Pittsburgh officials never believed a deal was done, though they were optimistic given the strength of the offer. The two sides are expected to renew long-term discussions as soon as the season is over.