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A trade? Hiring a former head coach? Or ignoring one of the most important positions on the team?

Following the 49ers exit press conference, the team scheduled a surprise conference call with head coach Kyle Shanahan yesterday. The circumstances around the call led to speculation that a big announcement was on the way. It turned out to be accurate as the 49ers head coach announced the team would be parting ways with defensive coordinator Steve Wilks.

Yesterday’s events kicked off an offseason with decisions, evaluations, and questions for the 49ers. Wilks’ departure was a huge surprise, but the 49ers always have surprises in store, especially during the offseason.

Here are three possible surprising moves for the 49ers in the offseason:

Trading Brandon Aiyuk

First of all, I wouldn’t do this. The 49ers were in a similar situation with DeForest Buckner following the 2019 season and got the number nine overall pick in return from the Indianapolis Colts. Regardless of what Aiyuk’s close family and friends convey on social media, the 49ers have a bit of control over Aiyuk’s fifth year.

Trading Aiyuk would be a surprise. If a team offered a middle pick in the first round and a high-end second-rounder, you’d have to imagine the 49ers would at least listen to the offer. Still, the 49ers have maintained that resigning Aiyuk is a priority for them, and despite their projected cap number for 2024, the 49ers can lower their cap number with an Aiyuk extension.

I reiterate that I don’t believe this happens.

Mike Vrabel or Bill Belichick become the 49ers’ DC

The 49ers defense down the stretch failed to live up to their expectations. Wilks’ departure isn’t a matter of being “scapegoated.” The fit between Wilks and Shanahan had obvious issues all season. Yesterday’s announcement felt like a foregone conclusion. Shanahan spoke about the fit and how it changed the way the 49ers linebackers played.

Speaking of linebackers, Mike Vrabel is available following his departure from Tennessee. Vrabel feels like a bit of a longshot, but the 49ers would be wise to check in on the former Titans coach with the example of how the defense performed under former Texans linebacker DeMeco Ryans.

The longest shot would be Bill Belichick taking a role under Shanahan or any other head coach. I’m not certain the building could take both coaches in the same space, but fans can dream, right?

Shanahan stated the team would look at coaches with the same defensive scheme the team wants to implement and coaches with different philosophies. Whoever the replacement is will have a great canvas to begin with, as well as pressure to return the defense to the elite status of years past.

The 49ers don’t address the offensive line in the NFL draft

The 49ers are back picking in the first round. Following the end of the Super Bowl and the concerns with the offensive line, particularly the right side, it would be an outright shock if the 49ers didn’t draft one or several offensive linemen.

With a back-end first-rounder, it will be interesting to see if the 49ers push for a lineman available or use the best player available strategy and wait to address the line further down the line.

One thing is for sure, the 49ers need to add linemen in the draft but can’t force a player with their draft picks. If the 49ers decide to add linemen in free agency or stand pat with their current depth chart, that will be the most shocking move.

What do you think? Which of these three scenarios would be the most surprising?

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About the Author: Insidethe49

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