The 49ers Are Running out of Options for Head Coach with Josh McDaniels Bowing Out

New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will not be taking the San Francisco 49ers head coaching gig, as news broke Monday morning. That leaves two candidates left — Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and Seattle Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable.

The San Francisco 49ers’ search for a new head coach experienced a bit of a hiccup Monday morning, when news of New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ decision to decline any offer made by the Niners broke.

CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora first reported Monday morning McDaniels would opt out of consideration.

The Niners have taken their time searching for both a new head coach and general manager. And the wait might be costing CEO Jed York and Co.

Two interviewed candidates are left on the list — Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and Seattle Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable.

Shanahan is certainly the better pick of the two. While never having served as a head coach at the NFL level, his offenses have done notably well during his coordinating tenure. The 2016 Falcons, set to meet with the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game, boasted the top-scoring offense in the NFL this past year during the regular season.

With McDaniels now out of the picture, Shanahan’s asking price just increased a bunch. At least according to Pro Football Focus’ Jeff Deeney:

San Francisco can’t make any official announcement with Shanahan as long as the Falcons are still in the playoffs.

On the other hand, York could make an official offer to Cable, whose Seahawks were eliminated by Atlanta over the weekend. But, as Niners Wire’s Chris Biderman described, such a move would be rather controversial, given Cable’s past.

And such a hiring likely wouldn’t go over well with Niners fans either.

It’s easy to see the potential problem here.

Shanahan could just as easily bow out of consideration too. If this happened, Cable would likely be the last-remaining choice for the head coaching vacancy.

The Niners were seen as a likable landing spot, considering the clean-slate approach, high amount of cap space and the No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Yet the options have dried up considerably since York started the interview process with various candidates following former head coach Chip Kelly’s firing immediately after Week 17.

San Francisco would be wise to throw whatever resources it has in landing Shanahan right now. He might have been the best option in the first place. Right now, he certainly is.

And Shanahan knows it. Which is why San Francisco shouldn’t hold off on opening up the checkbook this offseason.

This article originally appeared on