Last month, the 49ers had no intention to ever hire Mike Shanahan, at any time and in any capacity. Now that Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has parlayed his stand-alone cheese status into the kind of leverage that can allow him to ask for anything and everything before signing the contract that will make him the head coach of the 49ers, the 49ers may have to revisit their position.
There’s increasing chatter in league circles that Kyle Shanahan will try to get his father a job in San Francisco, forcing the team to bite its tongue and do what it doesn’t want to do in order to avoid having to go back to the drawing board to hire a coach at a time when the team has been settled on Kyle Shanahan.
It’s unclear what Mike Shanahan’s role would be, if he ends up with the 49ers. Regardless, the 49ers may have to reluctantly carve out a spot on the organizational chart for the father if they want to close the deal with the son, who has a tremendous amount of power over his next employer, if he chooses to use it.
Ultimately, the question will be whether the 49ers are willing to risk losing Kyle. Before they cross that bridge, they need to be confident that a viable Plan B (or, as the case may be, Plan D) is available.