The 49ers want a second round of interviews with three general manager candidates: Brian Gutekunst and Eliot Wolf of the Green Bay Packers and George Paton of the Minnesota Vikings.
The team has zeroed in on Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan as its next coach. The goal now is finding a general manager who can work alongside Shanahan.
If the Falcons beat the Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship game Sunday, the 49ers are permitted a second interview with him. In that scenario, the interview would occur in the Atlanta area along with the second general manager interviews. If the Packers win, those sessions could be in Santa Clara.
Wolf, 34, is the son of Ron Wolf, a longtime NFL general manager who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015. Gutekunst, 43, is not as well known, but he had a strong initial interview with the 49ers and some consider him the leader for the job. He was trained partly by former 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan when the two were in Green Bay.
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Paton has 20 years of NFL personnel experience and has worked for most of his career alongside Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. He and Shanahan share an agent, perhaps why he reached the finalist level for the 49ers.
The 49ers also have interviewed the Carolina Panthers’ Brandon Beane, the Seattle Seahawks’ Scott Fitterer, the Arizona Cardinals’ Terry McDonough, the Indianapolis Colts’ Jimmy Raye III and ESPN’s Louis Riddick.
The team has notified some GM candidates they will not be part of the second round of interviews. McDonough has not yet been approached about a second interview but could later in the week. Another Seahawks executive, Trent Kirchner, removed himself from the process Tuesday.