The San Francisco 49ers are the only team still looking for a head coach. With the Browns and 49ers both in need of quarterbacks and each owning the No. 1 and No. 2 picks in the 2017 NFL Draft, the person San Francisco hires to be their head coach could have an impact on Cleveland in that regard.
Monday morning, one of the 49ers’ top candidates, Josh McDaniels of the New England Patriots, withdrew his name from consideration:
#Patriots OC Josh McDaniels is stepping back from the coaching search to focus on playoffs. Means it’s Tom Cable or Kyle Shanahan for #49ers— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 16, 2017
That means the gig comes down to Tom Cable and Kyle Shanahan. I’ll tell you this: 49ers fans are desperately hoping that Shanahan gets the job. Before we delve further into that, though, let’s think about the ramification of what McDaniels staying in New England is: it means that Jimmy Garoppolo won’t be as coveted in San Francisco. If McDaniels had gone there, you can imagine why he would’ve pushed to bring his former quarterback along with him.
Don't think we can fully discount the 49ers as a landing spot for Garoppolo, but McDaniels taking his name out certainly decreases the odds— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) January 16, 2017
With McDaniels out of the equation, ESPN’s Adam Schefter says the 49ers are really zoning in on Shanahan now:
49ers are - and have been - honing in on hiring Falcons OC Kyle Shanahan as their HC, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 16, 2017
My belief right now is that with Shanahan, the 49ers would be more likely to take a quarterback at No. 2 overall in the draft. That means that if Cleveland hoped to go defense and then quarterback with No. 1 and No. 12, they’d be missing out on their top guy. However, if the Bears also want a quarterback — specifically, the same one the 49ers covet — then could Cleveland leverage a trade with either club? So many possibilities, and so many months to go.