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Doug Marrone opts out of contract

Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone has opted out of his contract. He is now free to pursue another head coaching job. Could the 49ers end up taking a look at him?

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In a move that is not surprising, but still unusual, Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone has opted out of his contract. The now former Bills head coach had an opt-out clause due to the change in ownership. He had three days to determine whether or not to opt out, and has decided to exercise the option.

Marrone is now a free agent, and will likely be strongly pursued. Marrone's Bills went 9-7 this season, improving quite a bit from a poor 2013 performance. Marrone came to the Bills following four years with the University of Syracuse. He was offered the Cleveland Browns head coach job but chose the Bills instead. Prior to Syracuse he was Sean Payton's offensive coordinator in New Orleans, and before that he spent extensive time working as an offensive line and tight end coach.

The 49ers have begun their own search process, and it is entirely possible Marrone could work his way into the mix. There are reports is a report Jed York wants to make a splash with this hire, and at least wants someone with head coaching experience. Jim Tomsula does have a limited amount of that experience, primarily as head coach in NFL Europe. However, with Marrone now available, York could get a coach with some positive NFL head coaching experience. Marrone is not quite a "splashy" hire, but his profile is looking up after a solid 2014 season in Buffalo.