The 49ers entered the offseason prepared to lose Robert Saleh.
Their ex-defensive coordinator was among the top crop of potential head-coaching candidates for the seven vacancies around the league. On Thursday night, the New York Jets announced they have agreed in principle to hire Saleh to become their next head coach.
The news was immediately met with praise by Richard Sherman, one of the NFL’s most respected veterans.
Sherman has starred on some of football’s top defenses over the past decade. He’s not one to say something politically correct for optics, so this endorsement is a good one.
Sherman was one of the many 49ers who was slowed by injuries in 2020, as he played in just five games. But he played in 15 games and was a Pro Bowl selection during the team’s Super Bowl run in 2019, when Saleh really solidified his stock as a coach.
Saleh interviewed for head-coaching gigs last year but stayed put in Santa Clara for one more year with Kyle Shanahan, who was pushing for Saleh to get a lead job by the end of the 2020 season.
Saleh clearly drew the respect of his colleagues, including 16-year veteran kicker Robbie Gould.
The 49ers just played the AFC East last season, so they will have to wait until 2024 -- or a Super Bowl -- to face Saleh’s squad. But you can bet that Sherman, Shanahan and Gould will be keeping tabs on the Jets next season.