No, the 49ers aren’t going to rehire longtime team executive John McVay to help stabilize the flailing franchise, but they are considering the next-best thing.
Team officials have a Monday interview with Washington offensive coordinator Sean McVay – John’s grandson – for their head-coach opening. The younger McVay is only 30 and would be the youngest head coach in NFL history. But he’s viewed as a rising star, and the Los Angeles Rams also will interview him for their vacancy.
Under McVay, Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins threw for 4,917 yards – third most in the NFL – to go with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Cousins is scheduled to be a free agent in March.
John McVay, meanwhile, served in the 49ers’ front office for more than two decades and was part of all five of the team’s Super Bowl championships. During the 2016 season, the 49ers dedicated their draft room to McVay.
His grandson played wide receiver for Miami of Ohio. He got his NFL start under then-Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden in 2008 and has been under Jon’s brother, Jay, in Washington for the past three seasons.
The 49ers also added new names in their search for a general manager – George Paton, who is second in command in the Minnesota Vikings personnel department; Louis Riddick, who has served in Washington and Philadelphia’s personnel departments and is currently an analyst on ESPN; and Jimmy Raye III, who has been the Indianapolis Colts’ vice president of football operations the past four seasons.
Paton has worked under Vikings general manager Rick Spielman for 10 seasons and also worked with Spielman in Chicago and Miami.
Raye, 48, who spent 17 years in the Chargers’ personnel department, is the son of former 49ers offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye. The interview with the younger Raye is scheduled for next week.
Riddick, 47, got his NFL start with the 49ers when they drafted him as a safety out of Pittsburgh in 1991. He spent seven seasons with four teams, ending his career with the Raiders in 1998.
He became an NFL scout in 2001 with Washington and eventually moved to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2008. He was Philadelphia’s director of pro personnel from 2010-13, at which point he joined ESPN.
Riddick’s interview reportedly will take place next week in New York.
Earlier this week, Riddick said on ESPN the 49ers’ head-coach opening was appealing because there also was a need for a general manager and the team was starting from scratch.
“They’re really gonna let you build it, and put in the foundation, and then let everything build and rise from there,” Riddick said. “Which to me, even though it’s a daunting task given the fact that personnel-wise this roster has been depleted, I like the situation that is coming to bear in San Francisco.”
As a member of the media, Riddick has been prolific on Twitter, last month praising Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who notably is a candidate to be San Francisco’s next head coach. Riddick also is on the record as saying quarterback Colin Kaepernick is “not one of those quarterbacks who was ever being thought of around the league as being a franchise quarterback.”
The 49ers plan to interview Packers personnel executives Eliot Wolf and Brian Gutekunst on Thursday in Green Bay. The 49ers have requested to speak with New England director of player personnel Nick Caserio, a meeting that could take place Saturday after they talk to McDaniels about their head-coach opening. Two Seahawks executives, Trent Kirchner and Scott Fitterer, are expected to visit with the team next week.
As far as their coaching search, the 49ers are expected to meet with Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, someone the team has been interested in hiring since the 2015 offseason.