Confirmed candidates for 49ers general manager
Jed York's wish list...
CEO Jed York wants to hire a coach-general manager combination. He is not sure whether that means the coach or general manager will be selected first – or whether they will simply be hired together.
“We need to make sure that the head coach and the general manager know each other, have a good understanding for each other,” York said. “(That) doesn’t mean that they had to have worked together in the past, but they have to have a good respect for each other and a good understanding and know that they have similar visions and philosophies on building a football team.”
York fired Trent Baalke, who held the title of general manager the past six years after taking over for Scot McCloughan as the 49ers’ top personnel executive the previous year. Here is a list of the confirmed candidates for the job:
Riddick, 47, in his role as an ESPN analyst, went on record to say the 49ers have the most-appealing opening and he would accept the job, if offered, to become general manager. He is scheduled to interview on Tuesday, Jan. 10. New England’s Josh McDaniels would appear to be a logical match as his head coach.
Riddick played six seasons as a safety in the NFL. The 49ers selected him in the ninth round of the 1991 draft, but he never played a regular-season down for the team.
After his playing career ended, Riddick spent 13 seasons as a scout and pro personnel director with Washington and Philadelphia. He worked with Trent Baalke and Chip Kelly at those locations. Riddick’s profile has risen since 2013 with his exemplary work on ESPN as an analyst.
Wolf, 32, is in his first season as Green Bay’s director of football operations after receiving a promotion after being denied an opportunity to interview with the Detroit Lions last year. The 49ers interviewed him Thursday, Jan. 5.
Wolf is the son Hall of Fame executive Ron Wolf. He has also worked closely through the years with current NFL general managers Reggie McKenzie, John Schneider and John Dorsey.
He began joining his father in film sessions at the age of 10 at Lambeau Field. Wolf earned a BA in English from Miami (Fla.), and graduated in 3 ½ years to begin his NFL career with the Packers before the 2004 draft.
Gutekunst, 43, is in his 18th season with the Green Bay Packers and his first as director of player personnel. He interviewed with the 49ers on Thursday, Jan. 5.
He has been denied at least two opportunities to interview for GM positions. Gutekunst received a new title this season after Packers general manager Ted Thompson denied permission for him to interview for the director of player personnel job with the Tennessee Titans. He was also denied from joining the Philadelphia Eagles’ personnel department in 2015 during Chip Kelly’s tenure with the team.
Gutekunst spent his first 13 seasons with the Packers as a regional college scout under then-general manager Ron Wolf. He was promoted to become the organization’s director of college scouting from 2012 to ‘15.
Jimmy Raye III
Raye. 48, who concluded his fourth season as the vice president of football operations for the Colts, interviewed with the 49ers on Sunday, Jan. 8. He is in his 22nd year in the NFL, including 17 with the San Diego Chargers. He spent five seasons as the Chargers’ director of player personnel.
During Raye’s time with the Chargers, the team drafted quarterbacks Drew Brees and Philip Rivers. Raye was honored with the Fritz Pollard Alliance “Salute to Excellence” Award the past two years.
Raye’s father, Jimmy Raye II, was a long-time NFL assistant coach who served as the 49ers’ offensive coordinator under Mike Singletary in 2009 until he was fired after three games in 2010.
The 49ers interviewed Patton, Minnesota assistant general manager, on Friday, Jan. 6. Paton has worked 10 seasons with the Vikings under general manager Rick Spielman, with whom he worked in two previous jobs.
Highly respected within NFL circles, Paton (pronounced Payton) has been considered a hot GM prospect for several years. He has reportedly turned down interview requests from the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins in the past.
He spent six seasons (2001-06) with the Miami Dolphins as director of pro personnel. Paton began his NFL career with the Chicago Bears, rising to assistant director of pro personnel in 2000.
Fitterer, 43, is the Seahawks co-director of player personnel with an emphasis more on evaluating college prospects. He’s had influence in the Seahawks’ drafts, which have netted such stars as Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas.
The 49ers are scheduled to interview him on Monday, Jan. 16. Fitterer joined the Seahawks in 2001 as an area scout. Fitterer interviewed for the Philadelphia Eagles’ GM position last year but opted to remain with the Seahawks under general manager John Schneider.
Fitterer played college baseball at LSU as a pitcher and spent two seasons in the Toronto Blue Jays’ minor league system.
Kirchner, the Seattle Seahawks co-director of player personnel, is scheduled to interview with the 49ers on Monday, Jan. 16 – the same day Fitterer interviews.
While a senior at St. John’s University (Minn.), Kirchner drove to Indianapolis and met John Schneider during the combine. He began work with the Seahawks as an interim before moving on to scouting with Washington and Carolina. He returned to Seattle as assistant director of pro personnel in 2010.
Kirchner is more focused on the professional scouting side with the Seahawks. He helped facilitate the trades to acquire Marshawn Lynch and Jimmy Graham, as well as the free-agent signings of Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril. He interviewed for GM positions with Detroit and the New York Jets the past two years.
Beane, 39, is the Carolina Panthers assistant general manager. He interviewed with the 49ers on Monday, Jan. 9. The obvious pairing at coach with Beane is Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, who is scheduled to interview with 49ers on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
Beane was promoted to the position of assistant general manager in June 2015. He spent the previous seven years as Carolina’s director of football operations, evaluating professional and collegiate players while working on negotiations of player contracts, as well.
In 2012, Beane served as the Panthers' interim general manager between the tenures of Marty Hurney and Dave Gettleman over the final 10 games of the season.
The 49ers were hoping to interview New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and the team’s director of player personnel Nick Caserio on Saturday.
The interview with McDaniels took place. The team did not interview Caserio.
Caserio declined an opportunity to interview for the 49ers’ general manager position, reports Pro Football Talk, citing multiple sources.
The Patriots granted the 49ers' request, a source told CSNBayArea.com, but Caserio apparently is content to remain as New England's top personnel executive under coach Bill Belichick.