The San Francisco 49ers have plenty of candidates on their interview docket, but one potential candidate remains a mystery. Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone has an opt out clause in his contract due to the installation of new ownership in Buffalo. He has three days from the end of the season to decide if he wants to move on. He has through Wednesday to make his decision.
Marrone had what most would consider a strong second season, improving from 6-10 to 9-7. The Bills stumbled late, splitting their final four games, but they kept things interesting heading into Week 16. Adam Schefter believes Marrone would be the most sought after name in a market that has solid candidates, but no single stand-out. Right now, the 49ers, Falcons, Bears, Jets and Raiders are all in the market for a new head coach.
Marrone has an offensive background, having coached offensive lines and tight ends for 13 years before taking over as offensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints from 2006 to 2008. He then spent four years as head coach at Syracuse (his alma mater), before taking over as head coach of the Bills. When Marrone first interviewed with the Bills, he got endorsements from Bill Parcells and the Saints staff. Parcells is notable given Trent Baalke's relationship with him. Marrone could decide to stick around Buffalo, but if he did become available, I would not be surprised if he ends up on the 49ers short list.