San Francisco 49ers Rumors: Chip Kelly Head Coach Target, Colin Kaepernick Trade Unlikely If Hired? Blaine Gabbert Starter Option For 2016

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Jan 08, 2016 04:41 PM EST
Head coach Chip Kelly of the Philadelphia Eagles
Head coach Jay Gruden of the Washington Redskins talks to head coach Chip Kelly of the Philadelphia Eagles prior to the game on December 26, 2015 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania."

The San Francisco 49ers have met with Chip Kelly and Anthony Lynn about their open head coach job this offseason following the firing of Jim Tomsula. The 49ers have some major questions for 2016 depending on who they hire, as the new coach may consider keeping Colin Kaepernick after the quarterback struggled this past season.

According to Adam Schefter at, sources reported that Kelly and Lynn met with the 49ers on Thursday regarding the open head coach position. Lynn is the Buffalo Bills running backs coach, while Kelly was fired ahead of Week 17 by the Philadelphia Eagles after three seasons with the team. The 49ers are also planning to meet with Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo about the position.

The 49ers fired Jim Tomsula after just one season and the team has regressed since being one of the best teams in the NFC under former head coach Jim Harbaugh. reported this week that "Round 1 of interviews" for the head coach job will "end next week" and after that some candidates could be called back for a second round of interviews. Matt Barrows at the Sacramento Bee reports that the team has interest in Mike Shanahan, Adam Gase and Josh McDaniels, but the team has not had formal interviews with those candidates yet.

Barrows reports that the team has also looked into Panthers coordinator Mike Shula, but Shula has said he will not interview with teams while the Panthers remain in the playoffs. The 49ers were interested in interviewing David Shaw from Stanford, but Shaw reportedly is not looking to interview with the team. ESPN reports that Kelly's representatives reached out to the 49ers about the head coach opening.

The 49ers went just 5-11 last season and took a major step back after previously making the playoffs with Harbaugh. The 49ers have some major questions moving forward depending on who they bring in as head coach, as the team has to make a decision on whether to bring back Colin Kaepernick and whether Blaine Gabbert will get a chance to be the starter. The team also potentially will have a ton of cap space with players like Anquan Boldin, Reggie Bush, Alex Boone and Phil Dawson all set to be free agents this offseason.

Kaepernick has regressed since leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl a few years ago and he could get another chance to start for the team if someone like Kelly takes over. Kaepernick is coming back after dealing with numerous injuries this season and the 49ers will have to take a look at the situation to decide whether to trade, release or bring back the QB. Kaepernick played in nine games this season and had six touchdowns and five interceptions while completing 59 percent of his passes.

Check here for more on the 49ers and the head coaching position.

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