Jed York can’t officially hire Kyle Shanahan until after Super Bowl LI, but he didn’t make a secret out of who the 49ers‘ next head coach will be. The point man on the 49ers’ GM and HC hiring processes, York referenced Shanahan as his coach in an interview with TheMMQB.com’s Peter King.
“So many opportunities are missed in the NFL because people don’t want to do something different. We’re OK with that, because I am confident in Kyle and [new GM] John [Lynch],” York said, via King. “John has watched John Elway, and how he’s built a team in Denver. As easy as it is to say he hasn’t built a team yet—I get that—I talk to Kyle, and he says John is the most prepared of all the TV [people] he meets in the production meetings before games.
“We understand we’ll have to live with growing pains, but I’m willing to do that because I believe the upside with both of them is so great.”
King reports York met with Lynch in both San Francisco and Atlanta last week, with Shanahan also meeting with Lynch in Atlanta, both before scheduled summits with GM finalists George Paton and Terry McDonough. San Francisco will give six-year contracts to both Lynch and Shanahan after York made the most stunning hire of the year on Sunday night.
Here’s more out of the 49ers’ hire, along with some other news out west.
- Assistant GM Tom Gamble will be given a chance to prove he should remain with the 49ers, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com tweets. Gamble ascended to his current position last summer. Part of the fallout from last night’s stunning Lynch announcement was the new GM already had an experienced personnel mind for his top lieutenant. Gamble, who’s enjoyed two stints with the 49ers, will have an audition period through the draft, per Maiocco. Gamble worked with Chip Kelly in both Philadelphia and San Francisco as well, but the Eagles fired him after the 2014 season.
- Carson Palmer confirmed he hasn’t made his decision about returning for a 15th NFL season. “I guess nothing’s ever official until it is, but I’d like to play if my body responds the way I hope,” the 37-year-old Cardinals quarterback said in a text message to Dan Bickley of the Arizona Daily Republic. Palmer missed a game this season because of a concussion. A Sunday report put the statuses of both Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald in doubt. Palmer is due a base salary of $15.5MM in 2017, with a $2MM roster bonus attached to his employment. The Cardinals have not placed a timetable on Palmer and Fitzgerald but would like to know the duo’s decisions by mid-February.
- Former Vikings wide receivers coach George Stewart will move to Los Angeles and become the Chargers‘ special teams coach, Alex Marvez of the Sporting News reports (on Twitter). Stewart resided as the Vikings’ longest-tenured assistant coach prior to making this decision, having coached Minnesota’s receivers since 2007.
- An NFL return to San Diego is not expected to occur for the foreseeable future, Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune notes. While the league would look to San Diego if it planned to expand, that’s not on the agenda, Krasovic reports. And a source informs him another team relocating there is not expected to happen. Some familiar with the inner-workings of NFL stadium procurement believe Dean Spanos and Stan Kroenke, now tied together in Los Angeles, would try to discourage fellow owners from supporting another team from moving to San Diego. The southern California city’s appeal to the league has diminished now that L.A. has two teams, per Krasovic.