San Francisco 49ers

Tomsula signs four-year deal; some assistants to remain

In this photo taken Jan. 2, 2011, San Francisco 49ers interim head coach Jim Tomsula, center, greets fans before an NFL football game between the 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals in San Francisco.
In this photo taken Jan. 2, 2011, San Francisco 49ers interim head coach Jim Tomsula, center, greets fans before an NFL football game between the 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals in San Francisco. AP

Jim Tomsula signed a four-year contract with the 49ers, a league source said on Thursday. The terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.

According to The San Jose Mercury News, the team's original offer to Jim Harbaugh in 2011 was a four-year deal as well. That contract eventually was boosted to five years – for $25 million – when other teams, including the Dolphins, began bidding for Harbaugh. Tomsula's contract is not expected to match Harbaugh's former deal.

Meanwhile, the 49ers officially let go of most of their assistants, including defensive coaches Vic Fangio, Ed Donatell and Jim Leavitt, a league source said. Fangio was scheduled to earn a little more than $2 million in 2015. The 49ers are obligated to pay him that sum if he can't land a job or the difference if his next job doesn't pay him that amount.

One assistant the team will retain is running backs coach Tom Rathman. Tomsula called Rathman last night and notified him that he'd like him to remain with the squad. Rathman has coached the San Francisco running backs since 2009, and his presence perhaps will make it easier for the 49ers to re-sign running back Frank Gore, who becomes a free agent in March.

Those close to Gore think that he will weigh his options on the open market and that he is interested especially in Indianapolis as a possible destination.

Another assistant who will be back is quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst. He has a good relationship with starter Colin Kaepernick, although his role has yet to be defined. Chryst’s son, Keller, also will be a freshman quarterback at nearby Stanford during the upcoming season.

Two other lower-level assistants who are likely to remain are Ejiro Evero and Mick Lombardi. Evero, who played safety at UC Davis, joined Harbaugh's staff in 2011. He's served on both sides of the ball as an assistant. He mostly worked on defense this past season but received a mention from Gore after the team's Week 17 win over Arizona.

Lombardi is the son of Michael Lombardi, who was a general manager candidate with the 49ers in 2011 and who now works for the Patriots. Mick Lombardi was hired in 2013 and served as an offensive assistant last year.

Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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