As this turbulent season reaches its descent, the 49ers have done little to assure that Kyle Shanahan can turn this team’s fortunes. However, don’t expect Jed York to sever ties with his head coach anytime soon.
Some in the media are claiming that Shanahan has less then a 50 percent chance of sticking around. With four more years left on his contract, that’s very unlikely. Little has gone well this season for the 49ers, but coming to the conclusion that the head coach needs to be fired without taking everything into account is just ignorant.
Back in February of 2017, former NFL executive Michael Lombardi joined The Ringer’s NFL podcast and spoke about Kyle Shanahan’s contract with the 49ers…
“There’s no offset clause in your contract, which is significant in the NFL,” Lombardi said as part of a larger topic. “Which means if Kyle Shanahan gets fired in year two, he gets all his money and can double dip, which is unheard of in the NFL.”
The commitment Jed York made to Kyle Shanahan last February was not for just two seasons and lets not forget, the 49ers are still in a rebuilding mode. Jimmy Garoppolo’s late season surge should not have changed that perception, but here we are.
That doesn’t mean the loss of their franchise quarterback should be ignored, nor should the other injuries. Losing Jerick McKinnon, the focus of Shanahan’s offense going into the season, was devastating. Throw in the six other players on IR and those who have struggled with injury all season and you have a tragedy that would cripple any head coach.
So, if you’re telling me Kyle Shanahan has a 56 percent chance of getting fired at season’s end, than I’m taking that bet. Mark my words, Jed York is going to ride this thing out and he’ll be better for it.
Earlier this week I wrote that the-49ers-head-coach-needs-to-evolve. In a nut shell, I recommended that Shanahan upgrade his staff if better coaches come available. He must learn from his mistakes and fix what needs to be fixed, but restrain from trying to fix what isn’t broken. Unfortunately that view can be skewed when there’s a fly in the ointment.
Despite what’s transpired, no one can argue that Shanahan has been able to keep his young team together. The final stretch of the season will not be easy and could look very ugly from a fan’s perspective. But fear not 49ers faithful as the most important lesson to learn here, is that fear is an illusion.
With all that’s been said and done, all will be forgotten if Shanahan can turn this team into winners. All the pieces aren’t there yet, but if there is a silver lining, it’s that the 49ers will have a very high draft pick. Add that the team will have over $68 million in cap space to play with and you have an exciting off-season ahead. Beyond that, Shanahan will be judged accordingly.
- Jones, Kevin (February 23, 2017). “Kyle Shanahan has no offset language in his contract”. KNBR.com. Retrieved November 29, 2018.