Source: 'Good chance' 49ers GM post down to final two

Source: 'Good chance' 49ers GM post down to final two

The 49ers’ coaching search is down to one candidate.

And that candidate, Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, is scheduled to meet Saturday with two 49ers’ general manager candidates before he takes off for Super Bowl 51 the next day. The 49ers are prohibited from officially hiring Shanahan until after the Falcons' final game, Feb. 5.

A source close to the 49ers’ search said there is a “good chance,” the team will hire Arizona vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough or Minnesota assistant general manager George Paton.

But, the source told CSNBayArea.com, “It’s not a lock.”

On Jan. 2 while discussing the decision to fire coach Chip Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke after the 49ers’ 2-14 season, CEO Jed York said he wanted to match a coach with a general manager from outside the organization to change the culture of the club.

York and Paraag Marathe, the 49ers’ chief strategy officer and executive vice president of football operations, interviewed nine candidates for the general manager post. Only McDonough and Paton remain from that original list. But others could be considered for the GM job if there's a question of chemistry with Shanahan.

Shanahan has never worked with McDonough or Paton. Moreover, Shanahan has minimal or no history with either man, according to sources.

McDonough and Mike Shanahan, Kyle’s father, have spoken often through the years. McDonough is believed to have told the 49ers his No. 1 choice for a coach with whom to be paired was Kyle Shanahan, based on his offensive mastery. McDonough played a role in building the Cardinals’ defense, which has ranked in the top five the past two seasons.

After going 13-3 in 2015, Arizona was one of just two NFL teams that ranked in the top 10 on offense and defense this season. Super Bowl-bound New England was the other.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn appears to be a common thread between Shanahan and Paton. There were reports two years ago Quinn and Paton were attempting to land together as a coach-GM package deal. Quinn and Paton worked together with the Miami Dolphins.

Paton, who has turned down GM interview requests from the New York Jets and Miami in recent years, is also a candidate for Indianapolis' opening, the Colts announced on Wednesday.

Paton has been situated mostly in the pro scouting side during his NFL career. He has worked closely with Vikings general manager Rick Spielman the past 10 years in Minnesota and previously in Chicago and Miami.

In the event Shanahan and the 49ers do not find a match in either McDonough or Paton, ESPN analyst Mark Dominik could become involved.

Dominik has been out of work since being fired as Tampa Bay’s general manager in 2013. The Buccaneers posted a 28-52 record in five seasons while Dominik was on the job. A source told CSNBayArea.com the 49ers have discussed Dominik, but no official interview has been scheduled.

Terrell Owens selects former 49ers coach as his Hall of Fame presenter


Terrell Owens selects former 49ers coach as his Hall of Fame presenter

Terrell Owens has selected former 49ers special teams and wide receivers coach George Stewart as his presenter into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“He knew what to get out of me,” Owens told the Hall of Fame.

“He knows who I am. To know who Terrell Owens is, you have to spend some time with him. . . George Stewart became a father figure to me.”

Owens was elected into the Hall of Fame in February. He will enter the Hall of Fame in a class that also includes wide receiver Randy Moss, linebackers Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher and Robert Brazile, safety Brian Dawkins, guard Jerry Kramer, and contributor Bobby Beathard.

Owens played special teams under Stewart’s direction as a rookie after coming to the 49ers in 1996.

From 2000 to ’02, Stewart worked as the 49ers’ wide receivers coach. Owens was selected to three consecutive All-Pro teams and Pro Bowls during that time. Owens ranks No. 2 all time behind Jerry Rice with 15,934 receiving yards. He is third all-time with 153 receiving touchdowns.

Stewart is set to enter his 30th NFL season as an assistant coach and his second as special-teams coordinator of the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Class of 2018 will be enshrined inside Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, on Saturday, Aug. 4.

Sherman makes his concern over Reid's free-agency status loud and clear


Sherman makes his concern over Reid's free-agency status loud and clear

Safety Eric Reid, who has 69 career starts and one Pro Bowl appearance in his five-year NFL career, remains available on the open market more than a week after the opening of free agency.

Reid has received no reported interest from NFL teams in what has been an unusually soft market for free-agent safeties. But, with Reid, there is another variable that could be playing a factor.

Reid was at the forefront of the social activism that has been a major storyline in the NFL since the beginning of the 2016 season. Reid and former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the playing of the national anthem in protest of racial inequality in America.

Reid has remained outspoken and has taken a knee as a way to “make people uncomfortable about the issues.” Reid has been clear his protest has nothing to do with the flag or the anthem.

“The anthem is just a vehicle to get us to have those conversations,” Reid told NBC Sports Bay Area last season. “It’s the platform we have. It’s the only time we have to get the eyeballs on us to do that. If we just did locker-room talks afterward, nobody would even know. Strategically, this is the only way we thought we could do it.”

Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman, who signed a three-year contract with the 49ers on March 10, had been the Seattle Seahawks’ player representative. He is a vice president of the NFL Players Association. Reid was the 49ers’ union representative.

Sherman said he is keeping a close eye on Reid’s situation.

“We are concerned, because he played at a high level for just about every year that he’s played in this league,” Sherman said on Tuesday. “He’s made enough plays to be signed with a team and to make his money. He deserves his money. Safeties make a certain amount. I would think he’s top-five, top-10 safeties in this league, so he deserves to be paid accordingly.

“So there is concern there, because you would think a player of his caliber and his quality would be picked up by now. I think great teams are still looking and people are still looking for players. I’m praying that he gets picked up. But if he doesn’t, then I think there will be a conversation with the league office and the union on potential league action.”

Kaepernick never got so much as an opportunity to compete for an NFL roster spot during training camp last season. Could Reid, 26, be heading for the same fate?

Reid addressed the issue last week on social media:

“The notion that I can be a great signing for your team for cheap, not because of my skill set but because I’ve protested systemic oppression, is ludicrous. If you think is, then your mindset is part of the problem too.”

The 49ers have not placed a priority on re-signing Reid. The club already has potential starting safeties Jimmie Ward, Jaquiski Tartt and Adrian Colbert under contract for the upcoming season.

Reid, whom the 49ers traded up to select with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, has 10 career interceptions. He appeared to thrive last season in run support as a safety who played closer to the line of scrimmage.