The San Francisco 49ers are coming off of a tough season and heading into 2016, some major concerns include the quarterback position and whether to keep Colin Kaepernick.
The 49ers are looking for a new head coach and names like Tom Coughlin, Chip Kelly and Hue Jackson are potential options to take over for the fired Jim Tomsula. The new head coach will have a major decision on whether to keep, trade or release Kaepernick and also whether to target a young quarterback in the draft. The 49ers have a top 10 pick in the 2016 NFL draft and names like Jared Goff, Paxton Lynch, Carson Wentz and Connor Cook could be potential options for the team.
The 49ers fired Tomsula after one season and now the team is conducting interviews and meeting candidates for the open head coaching position. According to ESPN.com, Chip Kelly has reached out about the opening, while the team is also interested in Hue Jackson and Tom Coughlin. According to Ian Rapoport at NFL.com, Coughlin will interview with the 49ers on Tuesday about the job. Coughlin stepped down as head coach of the Giants after missing the playoffs and is also reportedly a target for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Jackson has been getting a lot of attention as a head coaching candidate this year after serving as offensive coordinator for the Bengals. Jackson has previous head coaching experience and according to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News, Jackson is the "clear front-runner" for the 49ers job. Pro Football Talk reports that other candidates for the job include Anthony Lynn, Chip Kelly and John DeFilippo along with Coughlin. UPDATE: The 49ers are likely out on Jackson.
General manager Trent Baalke has a big decision to make on a new head coach and also some major decisions to make on the roster. The Niners had a down season and moving forward Baalke will have to decide who is part of the future and who isn't. Kaepernick is the main player to watch heading into 2016, as he will be coming off of three major surgeries and an inconsistent season. Kaepernick was a breakout star a couple years ago, but he has regressed and the team could consider moving on.
The draft should give the team options like Jared Goff or Paxton Lynch and depending on who the team brings in as head coach the Niners could opt for a complete change on offense. Kaepernick has over $13 million owed to him and his 2016 salary will be fully guaranteed in April. The team will have to make a decision on his future by that point, which will be a bit before the NFL draft.
The 49ers are projected to have a high amount of cap space in 2016 and the team could create more depending on who they cut/release during the offseason. Kaepernick's future will also play a part in how much money the team has, as he could end up off the books if the 49ers decide to move on from the quarterback. The team could spend in free agency after purging the roster over the past year, as a number of notable names are hitting the market for the 2016 free agent class.