The Saints are still expected to hire Rob Ryan as their defensive coordinator, but they’re also trying to talk to others, as well.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Saints asked permission to interview 49ers secondary coach Ed Donatell, but the 49ers refused.
If a position coach is under contract, as Donatell is, teams can refuse permission for coordinator jobs. It’s the trade-off for an extra year of security, which coaches are generally eager to accept.
Whether the Saints are doing anything other than poking at a conference rival while maintaining the illusion of a wide-open job search remains to be seen.