The San Francisco 49ers are putting the cart before the horse, interviewing head-coaching candidates before hiring a General Manager.
The possible reason? The Rooney Rule.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the 49ers have requested permission from the Raiders to interview offensive coordinator Hue Jackson for the vacant head-coaching position in San Francisco. Interviewing Jackson would comply with the mandate that at least one minority candidate be interviewed for every coaching vacancy.
But this isn’t a Ray Sherman move; Jackson is regarded as a legitimate head-coaching candidate, and his presence on the Oakland coaching staff has fueled reports that head coach Tom Cable will be fired and Jackson elevated into the job.
And that’s likely why talk of a Cable-for-Jackson swap has emerged. Owner Al Davis hired Jackson with, as many believe, an eye toward promoting him at some point. And if Davis waits too long to promote Jackson, Davis may not have the luxury of promoting Jackson.
That said, if Jackson has options right now, he may opt to leave Oakland.
He doesn’t have an option in San Francisco yet. But who knows? He could end up being the man to work with Trent Baalke in an effort to resurrect a faded franchise.