Passed over for G.M. job, Louis Riddick changes his tune on the 49ers

Last month, ESPN analyst Louis Riddick was a candidate to become the General Manager of the 49ers. At the time, Riddick labeled San Francisco the best place for a new coach of any of the six teams that had a head-coaching vacancy.

“I think the most appealing job is the one where you’re going to be able to go in and start fresh with a G.M. and a head coach,” Riddick said. “I like the situation that is coming to bear here in San Francisco. I like what Jed York is trying to do.”

The 49ers later passed over Riddick for the G.M. job and hired John Lynch, with Kyle Shanahan as head coach. And now Riddick doesn’t see that 49ers job as quite so appealing.

Today on ESPN, Riddick ranked the six teams that hired new head coaches in order of how good a situation they have, and the 49ers ranked sixth out of the six.

So what changed between then, when Riddick saw the 49ers as the best job, and now, when he sees it as the worst job?

One possible answer is that Riddick is upset that the 49ers didn’t hire him and is expressing sour grapes. That wouldn’t reflect well on him, or on ESPN for allowing an analyst to use his role on ESPN to settle a score.

Another possible answer is that Riddick learned things about the 49ers while he was interviewing that led him to believe the franchise is deeply dysfunctional, that York is an incompetent owner who meddles in football decisions, and that the front office is broken too badly for Lynch to fix. But if Riddick learned those things, shouldn’t he say so on ESPN? That is, after all, his job: To give ESPN viewers the benefit of his knowledge as an analyst.

If Riddick can’t say what he really thinks because his conversations with the 49ers were confidential, or if he can’t analyze them objectively because he’s bitter they didn’t hire him, that raises the question of why he’s opining on the 49ers at all.

46 responses to “Passed over for G.M. job, Louis Riddick changes his tune on the 49ers

  1. …or Riddick was originally pumping up the 49ers opening in hopes of getting hired as GM. Now he can just tell the truth.

  2. Funny Louie Louie didn’t get another interview for GM by any other team..yes we might be dysfunctional true enough but what does that say about him…so in other words he either lied about the things he said about our organization or he’s lying now..either way still makes him a liar correct?

  3. Or, he COULD have said:

    “I left the 9ers out of my ranking. Many of you may or may not know I interviewed for that job. Hey man, I’m drawn to work right in the thick of things. So, obviously I was intrigued by something there. But, I’m here….and will defer to my teammates here to give an opinion on San Francisco.”

  4. a1b24312 says:
    Feb 9, 2017 2:51 PM

    The ethics bar isn’t high at ESPN these days. So consider that.
    Not sure anyone has ever seen the word ethics and ESPN used in the same sentence, at least not within the last 20 years.

  5. He said on the Insiders that the 49ers had the most to do – not that it was the worst situation. In fact he objected when the host tried to make it about a good or bad situation. He lauded the organization for the 6 year contracts that recognized the challenge.

  6. Louis made a career mistake and he knows it. He left football so he could babble at ESPN and show off what a pompous know-it-all he is. If he wanted to be a GM so badly, why didn’t he take another job with a team? Why leave the industry?

    ESPN isn’t where guys hoping to climb the ladder go- it’s where the dudes whose NFL careers are over go to pad the retirement account.

    We’ll never know for sure, but it’s entirely possible Louis Riddick isn’t the brilliant football guy so many people in media prop him up to be.

  7. Odd… They were such an appealing organization to be a part of last month, in Riddick’s opinion. Good thing he didn’t get the GM job, his saltiness speaks volumes on how he would act in a position of power.

  8. Could it be that he just thinks Lynch will not succeed? I mean the rankings originally were for the open positions, now they are looking at who filled those positions and seeing what they have to work with.

  9. His second opinion is the correct opinion…how could a team be a powerhouse just a few short years ago, and now be one of the worst places to be? I swear seems like only yesterday they were being lauded as one of the model franchises winning their division and making the playoffs…and then the big implosion…

  10. Riddick’s high praise of Aj Jenkins, Marcus Martin, and Brandon Thomas was a huge red flag… Maybe he just isn’t very good and uses his candor as an excuse for not getting another exec gig

  11. It’s probably both. Yeah, the situation may not be great but I’m guessing it’s a big case of sour grapes. That’s just the way people are for the most part.

  12. The 49ers have been a complete train wreck since Eddie DeBartolo left, with the exception of the 3 years Jim Harbaugh was in charge. As soon as the new stadium deal was done, Harbaugh’s power was stripped away and the team headed back to the cellar. Riddick was hoping they were going to bring in an experienced football guy, but they didn’t. I can see how Riddick could change his mind once he sat in there and talked face to face with perhaps the most incompetent owner in pro sports history. There’s a honeymoon going on in Santa Clara right now, but there have been a lot of honeymoons there lately. I think the smart money is on Riddick being honest. If you’ve been betting on Jed York lately, you’re out of money.

  13. So the 49ers passed over an unqualified candidate for GM to hire an even more unqualified candidate for GM, and the unqualified candidate passed over has sour grapes about it. Lynch was a huge reach but its not like they had much to choose from.

  14. if Riddick had a problem with the 49er’s front office people and structure (York and Marathe), then he would have taken his name out of the running for the GM position. His name was kept in the mix for weeks after he met with 49ers.

  15. “…if Riddick learned those things, shouldn’t he say so on ESPN?”

    Whatever for, Michael David Smith? If an NFL team were to interview you for a position with their Media department, would you write about the details of it on PFT? Not if you wanted that job or any similar positions that may become available in the future.

    As deneb pointed out above, the topic of discussion on ESPN wasn’t exactly the same each time.

  16. That wouldn’t reflect well on him, or on ESPN for allowing an analyst to use his role on ESPN to settle a score.

    Yah, that’s strictly the purview of NBC Sports!

  17. I think Lynch will continue to be suspect as GM because he didn’t really hire Shanahan and a lot of people changed their minds after witnessing the botched Super Bowl.

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