49ers rumors: Team could face mass exodus on coaching staff, in front office

By Vincent Frank
Feb 2, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh? before Super Bowl LIV against the Kansas City Chiefs at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers finished up shop on a disappointing six-win 2020 season this past weekend. This has not stopped 49ers rumors from concluding that some of their top assistant coaches and front office personnel could move on to greener pastures during the offseason.

Other NFL teams are fully aware that the 49ers finished the 2020 NFL season with over $80 million in cap money on injured reserve and missed the most games to injury in single-season league history. The coaching staff and those who built up a Super Bowl-caliber roster have not been forgotten.

As the cycle for a half-dozen teams looking for new head coaches and even more attempting to find new general managers, the 49ers have been at the forefront of rumors around the NFL. That won’t change moving forward, and it could have wide-ranging ramifications in Santa Clara.

Related: San Francisco 49ers offseason preview

49ers rumors: Robert Saleh a top head coach candidate

49ers rumors: Robert Saleh
Dec 8, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh before their game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

To say that Saleh is a hot NFL head coach commodity right now would be an understatement. He’s already receiving interest from the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Chargers with Detroit being seen as the favorite to land the 41-year-old coordinator.

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Despite seeing his defense deal with a rash of injuries in 2020, Saleh led a top-five ranked defense. This came after the unit ranked No. 2 overall in total defense during the 49ers’ Super Bowl campaign in 2019. Last season’s performance was even more impressive given that Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, Richard Sherman and Solomon Thomas missed a combined 55 games to injury.

If, as expected, Saleh lands a head coach job this cycle, the 49ers would be looking for a veteran defensive mind to fill the void. Sitting at the top of their list are two former NFL head coaches in that of Dan Quinn and Gus Bradley.

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49ers rumors: Two top assistants could leave for coordinator jobs

49ers rumors: Mike LaFleur
Jan 22, 2019; Mobile, AL, USA; South wide receivers & passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur of the San Francisco 49ers talks with the quarterbacks during the South squad 2019 Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Even more so than the defensive coordinator position, the 49ers would face some major obstacles on the other side of the ball if run-game coordinator Mike McDaniel and pass-game coordinator Mike LaFleur moved on to becomes offensive coordinators. Both have been part of head coach Kyle Shanahan’s staff since he joined the 49ers in 2017.

According to NFL Media’s Mike Silver, 49ers rumors conclude that current Falcons interim head coach Raheem Morris is targeting McDaniel as his offensive coordinator should he land the Jacksonville Jaguars’ head coach job. Morris is interviewing for said job later this week.

As for LaFleur, it’s not a surprise to learn that Saleh is targeting him to be his offensive coordinator should the current 49ers assistant land a head coach job.

Related: NFL defense rankings – Outlook before 2021 NFL Draft

49ers rumors: Adam Peters among those being considered for general manager

This could end up being a major blow to the 49ers’ front office led by general manager John Lynch. Without any front office experience ahead of taking the job in San Francisco back in 2017, Lynch brought in Peters from the Denver Broncos. He had eight years of experience working under John Elway.

Now that Elway has stepped down as the Broncos’ general manager, Peters could leave his post as the 49ers’ Vice President of Player Personnel to take that role in Denver. Peters is also drawing interest from the Carolina Panthers after they fired Marty Hurney.

49ers rumors are also concluding that another front office figure in that of Martin Mayhew has drawn interest as a potential general manager. The veteran personnel man previously served as general manager for the Detroit Lions from 2008-15.

Needless to say, these departures could be huge news for the 49ers as they enter what could be a franchise-altering offseason that starts at the all-important quarterback position.

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