49ers Mailbag: Is Merriman an option?


49ers Mailbag: Is Merriman an option?

Q: Do you see the 49ers putting in a waiver claim on Shawne Merriman?(@MykalParrish)
The 49ers have shown they're not adverse to taking a chance on a veteran player when there is no financial risk involved.The Buffalo Bills cut Merriman on Monday. The 49ers watch film of every exhibition game, so they no doubt have studied Merriman. It does not bode well for Merriman's future that the Bills were so quick to part ways with him as he attempts to return from season-ending Achilles tendon surgery in November.RELATED: Shawne Merriman career stats 2011 game logs
On Saturday, the 49ers definitely had a need at outside linebacker. Eric Bakhtiari played nearly every snap. Parys Haralson started, with Kourtnei Brown and Kenny Rowe also seeing action.The 49ers last week signed veteran outside linebacker Ikaika Alama-Francis, who Monday will be able to put on pads and practice for the first time.Also, the 49ers expect to get outside linebackers Aldon Smith (right hip) and Ahmad Brooks (left knee) back on the field this week. So the team's thin crop of outside linebackers is getting stronger.RELATED: 49ers defensive player-by-player review vs. Texans
Of course, wherever Merriman ends up, he won't be playing for the scheduled 4 million salary that the Bills decided not to pay. If any team gives Merriman a chance, it'll be low-risk, minimum-salary opportunity. After all, since his first three seasons, during which time he recorded 39.5 sacks for the San Diego Chargers, Merriman not been productive. He has just five sacks in 23 games over a period of four seasons.Whether he ends up in a training camp or not for the final two weeks of the exhibition season, it's seems unlikely he'll be on any team's 53-man roster when the regular season begins.

Waiting for Shanahan could be a good thing for 49ers

Waiting for Shanahan could be a good thing for 49ers

The 49ers were willing to be patient in securing their next head coach.

Depending on the outcome of the Atlanta Falcons’ game Sunday against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game, they could be required to wait another two weeks.

The other five organizations with vacancies after the regular season have filled their head-coach positions with four assistants from teams that did not qualify for the playoffs and former Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, whom the Denver Broncos hired after his team was bounced in the AFC wild-card round.

Early in the 49ers’ search to replace Chip Kelly, the top targets appeared to be Josh McDaniels and Kyle Shanahan, the offensive coordinators for two of the top-three scoring teams in the NFL.

The coach-general manager team of McDaniels and New England Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio was the runaway favorite to be the package deal, according to sources close to the 49ers’ coaching search.

But when Caserio chose to remain as Bill Belichick’s top personnel lieutenant – just has he has in the past when other opportunities presented themselves – the job became less attractive to McDaniels, according to those sources. McDaniels announced on Monday he would remain with the Patriots for at least another year.

With McDaniels out of the picture, Shanahan became the clear favorite over Seattle assistant Tom Cable. And once Cable publicly stepped aside due to suspicions he was only being used to secure a commitment from Shanahan, only one candidate remained for the job.

Since the middle of this week, Shanahan has been the presumptive coach of the 49ers. Falcons coach Dan Quinn was the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator two years ago when he was officially hired just hours after the Super Bowl. He knows he drill. And this week he announced to the Falcons staff that Shanahan would be the next coach of the 49ers, according to the NFL Network.

Regardless of the outcome of Sunday’s game, the 49ers will be allowed to interview Shanahan next week – most likely, Tuesday in Atlanta. Shanahan will be involved in the process to hire the next general manager. Minnesota assistant general manager George Paton appears to be the favorite. The 49ers expect the general manager position to be filled early in the week.

If the Falcons lose, the 49ers would be able to hire Shanahan on their own time frame. It would not be expected to take long.

But if the Falcons win, the 49ers would have to wait until after Feb. 5, when the Super Bowl will be played in Houston, to hire Shanahan.

There is an advantage to being forced to wait. In the long term, the 49ers could benefit from their next head coach gaining the experience of a Super Bowl week and calling a game on the biggest stage in all of sports.

Report: Bradley accepts Chargers defensive coordinator job

Report: Bradley accepts Chargers defensive coordinator job

Former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley reportedly agreed Friday night to become defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Chargers.

The 49ers were reportedly in pursuit of Bradley to join the staff of presumptive coach Kyle Shanahan. Bradley spent four seasons as Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator prior to landing the Jacksonville job in 2013. The Jaguars were 14-48 during Bradley's tenure.

Bradley was also reportedly the top candidate for Washington’s defensive coordinator position.

Bradley agreed to join Anthony Lynn’s staff, ESPN reported. Bradley was selected for the Chargers position over defensive backs coach Ron Milus, according to the report.

Shanahan, the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons, confirmed this week he intends to take part in a second interview with the 49ers early next week after the NFC Championship game Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. He remains as the only candidate for the 49ers' opening, which became open when Chip Kelly was fired after the team's 2-14 season.

The 49ers are not allowed to officially hire Shanahan until the Falcons’ season is over. Shanahan is expected to be involved in the process to hire the 49ers’ general manager, who replaces fired Trent Baalke. Minnesota assistant general manager George Paton appears to be the front-runner. He is scheduled for a second interview, likely on Tuesday in Atlanta.

Arizona vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough is the only other individual the 49ers interviewed who remains “in play” for the GM job, according to sources.