On Jan. 10, general manager candidate Louis Riddick interviewed with the 49ers.
On Jan. 17, San Francisco told Riddick he was no longer in consideration for the opening.
How close was Riddick to getting the job?
“That was very, very, very, very, very, very close," Riddick said on ESPN Radio. "The way that was setup was, look, San Francisco was very very sensitive about the relationship between head coach and general manager there. That’s something that they, right from the get-go, made a priority.
"They were trying to look for matches as far as head coaches and general managers. It wasn’t a very well kept secret -- not that it was a secret, anyway -- that Josh McDaniels and myself are very close. We share a lot of the same philosophical ideas -- just about all of them basically -- because he was really taught the game at the highest level by Nick Saban and Bill Belichick, just like I was.
"And that kind of pretty much was the deal going in. It was either going to be him and I, or it wasn’t. And Josh, for his reasons -- his personal reasons -- decided that now wasn’t a good time. And when he decided that, I was onboard with that obviously. Therefore I wasn’t in the running anymore."
Before interviewing with San Francisco, Riddick said the 49ers were the most appealing of the openings.
He changed his tune a couple of weeks later.
“I know there are a lot of people out there who, based on some things I was saying on some shows that we did about the fact San Francisco had the most work to do, which they do, but they have a lot of assets to turn that team around — it’s going to take some time. People are like, ‘Oh, it’s sour grapes. He’s salty,'" Riddick said. "And I’m like, look man, most of the time when people are commenting, it’s amazing how people talk about stuff they don’t know anything about.
"But I wasn’t salty about it at all. It was a great opportunity. I had a great interview with Paraag Marathe and the owner, Jed York, in New York City. It went awesome. Got a lot of great feedback from ‘em. I thought that my plan was rock solid. And if it was something that would’ve worked out for Josh and myself, you know overall, then we would be there. But it had nothing to do with anything other than the fact that the pairing, it just wasn’t the right time for us to do that. And that’s fine. That’s fine."
Riddick will continue his work as an analyst, but could get back in the mix for a GM position down the road.
“It’s still something that I’m interested in for sure," Riddick added. "Once you go through that kind of process, it really kind of reignites all the things -- like, we’ve been talking about on TV for the past couple years -- but it really kinda fans the flames because you’re talking about it in a very real sense.
"So, if the right situation comes up, I still want to work with Josh McDaniels. I think he’s fricking fantastic. The guy understands football like you wouldn’t believe. He’s gonna be dynamite when he gets another shot to be a head coach.
"And I’m convinced more than ever now that I myself, from a general manager standpoint, have a plan that I know, I believe will work. Especially if it’s with the right kind of people, and Josh McDaniels is the right kind of people. So, we’ll see what happens in the future.”