Indianapolis Colts

NFL rumors: Browns to interview one of Robert Saleh's ideal GM options

NFL rumors: Browns to interview one of Robert Saleh's ideal GM options

The Cleveland Browns have yet to hire a new coach after firing Freddie Kitchens on Dec. 29, but they appear to be trying to curry favor with 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, a reported top candidate.

The Browns have requested permission to interview Indianapolis Colts assistant general manager Ed Dodds for Cleveland’s vacant GM position, WKRK-FM’s Dustin Fox reported Saturday.

Dodds is among the names on Saleh’s list of GMs he’d want to be paired with if he's hired by the Browns, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported.

Saleh’s name has been mentioned frequently around the Browns’ coaching vacancy, but no announcement likely will come until the 49ers’ season wraps up.

[RELATED: Source: Person to start at right guard for 49ers vs. Vikes]

The 49ers take the field Saturday to open up their playoff run against the Minnesota Vikings at Levi’s Stadium in a divisional-round matchup.

NFL playoff picture: Where 49ers stand in NFC with two weeks remaining

NFL playoff picture: Where 49ers stand in NFC with two weeks remaining

The Saints' dominating win over the visiting Colts on Monday night didn't change much in the NFC playoff picture ... yet.

New Orleans entered the game as the No. 3 seed in the NFC, which is where it remains after beating Indianapolis like a drum. At 11-3, the Saints have the same record as current Nos. 1 and 2 seeds Seattle and Green Bay, as well as No. 5 seed San Francisco.

The 49ers, of course, clinched a playoff berth on Sunday despite losing to the Falcons in the final seconds. While that defeat bumped San Francisco out of the top spot, the 49ers would still finish as the No. 1 overall seed in the conference if they win their final two remaining games.

On one hand, 49ers fans should have been rooting for the Saints on Monday night, as their win put San Francisco three games up on Seattle in a potential strength-of-victory tiebreaker, which could come into play if the Seahawks beat the Cardinals and the Rams beat the 49ers in Week 16, combined with a San Francisco victory in Seattle in Week 17.

On the other, one couldn't blame those fans if they were rooting against the Saints, as their victory kept the door open for New Orleans to finish as the No. 1 overall seed, depending on other outcomes. In that event, the NFC path to the Super Bowl would lead through the Superdome, and the 49ers know quite well just how difficult of an environment that can be to play in.

Your head spinning yet?

If not, just wait. Assuming the favorites win in Week 16, there are going to be some insanely complex tiebreaking scenarios going into the final week of the regular season. Have a calculator handy.

[RELATED: Rams might be without kicker Zuerlein in rematch vs. 49ers]

Here's the full NFC playoff picture heading into Week 16: 

  1. Seattle Seahawks (11-3) 
  2. Green Bay Packers (11-3)
  3. New Orleans Saints (11-3)
  4. Dallas Cowboys (7-7)
  5. San Francisco 49ers (11-3)
  6. Minnesota Vikings (10-4)

Colts claim kicker Chase McLaughlin after rookie was waived by 49ers

Colts claim kicker Chase McLaughlin after rookie was waived by 49ers

That didn't take long.

Just 24 hours after being waived by the 49ers, rookie kicker Chase McLaughlin has been claimed by the Indianapolis Colts.

McLaughlin leaves behind a solid resume with San Francisco, making seven of his eight field-goal attempts and was good in all eight of his extra points.

In seven games with both the 49ers and the Los Angeles Chargers this season, McLaughlin has converted 13-of-17 (76.5 percent) of his field-goal attempts.

He did, however, miss a very crucial overtime 47-yard field goal attempt in Week 10 which would have given the 49ers a win over the rival Seattle Seahawks. Instead, his shank ended up leading to a Seahawks victory and the 49ers' first loss of the season. 

And the miss wasn't exactly close.

[RELATED: McLaughlin not sure what happened on 49ers' missed field goal]

The 49ers waived McLaughlin after kicker Robbie Gould returned to the team this week following a three-game absence due to a right quadriceps injury.