NFL Insider Ian Rapoport Commends 49ers Approach to General Manager/Head Coach Search

Knowledge is power, and Ian Rapoport is at the top of the information pyramid when it comes to NFL news. That makes the national insider for NFL Network and NFL.com a great resource for insight into the San Francisco 49ers search for a new head coach and general manager.

Rapoport joined 49ers Studios earlier in the week to update what he's been hearing about the 49ers interview process.

Take a look at each potential general manager/head coach who has met with the 49ers, in order of when they took the interview.

"One of the things that has really interested a lot of the candidates is the ability to start new," Rapoport said. "They need to restock the roster a little bit. That's something for a lot of these candidates, they really like that. Rarely do you get to come in and make your imprint on things, and that's the opportunity that will be presented."

With that clean slate comes the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft, nearly $78 million in cap space and the absence of bad contracts that limit roster flexibility. Rapoport explained that those factors are "very, very appealing" for each candidate who has interviewed thus far.

"I've heard that from several people," he said. "The fact that you come in, and you have all the tools. There's certainly some young talent (on the roster). If you look at the last two drafts, there's some stuff to like there, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Then you have endless cap space, and you have a lot of draft capital. The No. 2 pick is either a great pick, a great opportunity, or it's something you turn into a lot of picks in the future."

Jed York spoke at length during his press conference on Jan. 2 about the importance of finding cohesion between the next general manager and head coach. Ultimately, the two hires will need to share similar football philosophy and a mutual respect for one another.

During each interview, the 49ers are not only learning about the candidate in front of them, but they're also inquiring about who each person would prefer to work with if they were to land the job.

"It sounds like that's sort of what's happening," Rapoport said. "How it's been explained to me, candidates are being asked to discuss the relationship they may or may not have with some of the other candidates. I can't say that I've seen this approach before, but I really like it.

"Candidates seem to be intrigued with the possibility that the coach won't pick the GM, and I don't get the sense that the GM is going to pick the coach, but it sounds like they're going to pick each other. That's kind of a cool thing."

The 49ers are the only team with an opening at general manager. That means Eliot Wolf, Brian Gutekunst, Jimmy Raye III, George Paton, Brandon Beane and Louis Riddick are all still options to fill the role.

Three of the five candidates who have interviewed for head coach are still on the table as well: Anthony Lynn, Kyle Shanahan and Josh McDaniels. The two exceptions are Sean McDermott, who was hired on Wednesday as the next head coach of the Buffalo Bills and Sean McVay, who was hired on Thursday as the head coach of the Los Angeles Rams.

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