The 49ers want to talk to Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson about their head-coach opening, the NFL Network reported.
Jackson, 50, would seem to check a lot of boxes for the 49ers. He’s an offensive-minded coach who has worked with quarterbacks for most of his career. He also has experience as a head coach in the NFL, although that was limited to one season, 2011, with the Raiders. Oakland went 8-8 that season.
The Dolphins and Browns also are interested in Jackson, whose team is playing the Steelers in the wild-card round of the playoffs Saturday and who would be available to interview on Sunday. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and his staff are conducting their interviews in New York and the 49ers could do the same, especially if CEO Jed York is there for league meetings related to a relocation to Los Angeles. York is on the NFL’s stadium committee.
Jackson is in his second season with Cincinnati. The Bengals ranked 15th in yards in 2015 and seventh in points. The 49ers finished last in points and likely will look to bolster their quarterbacks corps in free agency or the draft or both.
The 49ers interviewed Jackson in 2011, the year they hired Jim Harbaugh. Jackson worked on the same Washington team as general manger Trent Baalke. Jackson was running backs coach from 2001-02 before running that team’s offense in 2003. Baalke was a scout in that span.
Meanwhile, the Terre-Haute Tribune-Star reported that the Colts were interested in Saints coach Sean Payton before Indianapolis decided to give current coach Chuck Pagano a new contract.
The 49ers are believed to have circled Payton as well. He is under contract in New Orleans for two more seasons and the Saints likely would want compensation in the form of draft picks before granting his release.