Given what has been reported in the Raiders, his history with the Denver Broncos, not to mention leaving the Indianapolis Colts at the alter, a train wreck may have ran smoother than this coaching tenure.
And in a sick way, it almost would have been fascinating to watch given the circumstances. If you thought the Raiders fiasco was nuclear, that would have been nothing compared to the drama fans would be subjected to in Santa Clara.
Why fascinating? The 49ers moved off mutually parted ways with Jim Harbaugh, then hired Jim Tomsula at the last minute as his replacement (well, it was going to be Adam Gase but that didn’t happen). Tomsula turned out to be a disaster and was fired at the end of the season. That prompted a second search settling on Chip Kelly, which went even worse. So worse, Kelly was fired at the end of his first season. That’s now three head coach openings in as many seasons and two of the three that had just one year at the helm.
Trying to sell an up and coming coordinator while caught in a mess of all that was going to be difficult. The roster was subpar when the 2017 search began and given there were back-to-back one and dones, there wasn’t much job security. With Kyle Shanahan, the 49ers gave him and John Lynch six-year contracts with no offset language. That means if the 49ers were to fire either of them only for them to go elsewhere, they got paid by the 49ers the full amount. Most contracts usually have the former team paying the difference. In this case, Shanahan could double dip. That was one way to show they were in for the long haul.
Now, think: Jed York and the 49ers. Three coaches, and that third hire can double dip. That’s bad for ownership’s bank account, But let’s say the 49ers gave McDaniels two years and they start hiring again. Forget the money (oh, that definitely would hurt), what assurance of time and patience could an organization offer someone after all of that? The six-year, double dipping contracts were meant to show the organization wouldn’t do that.
Who knows if the 49ers could rectify anything with their third head coach. While the 49ers were an attractive destination in 2017 due to the salary cap space and draft picks, it still was a question mark on if there would be patience, especially for a splash hire. If McDaniels got the job instead of Kyle Shanahan, where would the 49ers be now? How long would the 49ers keep him just to save face?
One has to wonder how long this would have lasted and just what state the 49ers would be in if things went the same was as with Las Vegas. It’s doubtful George Kittle is drafted by the team, but it might also be doubtful Reuben Foster is, so who knows what the roster would look like.
Given all the bad luck and cynicism some of us can have, this is one of those things the 49ers got very lucky on. McDaniels rescinded his candidacy, thankfully not at the last minute, and the 49ers honed in on Shanahan as their new head coach.
Then again, they were also interviewing Tom Cable for the job and he was the other favorite. In any case, the dysfunction that may have happened to the 49ers while McDaniels was head coach happened to the Raiders instead.