The San Francisco 49ers reported pursuit of Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase raised a question about how Vic Fangio would view the whole thing. Well, we might have an answer. NFL Network's Mike Silver tweeted that if Fangio does not get the job, he wants out of San Francisco, unless the team hires Mike Shanahan.
This is just anonymous rumblings for now, but it would not exactly be shocking if Fangio decided he wanted out following a Gase hiring. The 49ers are reportedly in Denver today for a second interview with Gase. This would mark the first follow-up interview the 49ers have conducted with any of the candidates. This does not guarantee Gase gets anything, but it is obviously pretty notable in the process. The team has more than just passing interest in Gase.
If Gase were to get the job and Fangio were to leave, my guess is Ed Donatell would be one of the favorites to get the defensive coordinator position. There is nothing to indicate Gase has made that known, but Donatell has been a favorite request for DC interviews, and has done great work with a 49ers secondary that has never featured big names. It would allow the 49ers to maintain some semblance of continuity in their defensive coaching staff, which is important considering that the defense has been such a strength in recent years.
Mike Shanahan interviewed a week and a half ago, but he has fallen off the radar in recent days. One would think if he was going to be the choice, he would have wanted to get something done quickly. As the search process drags on, it seems like Shanahan or an internal hire becomes less and less likely. Of course, if the 49ers are not sufficiently pleased with Gase's follow-up interview, then maybe an internal hire gains a little strength. I honestly have no idea at this point, and I think those last two sentences sufficiently support that point!
And of course, it is entirely possible this report is not true, and Fangio would be fine sticking around San Francisco for at least the first year of a Gase tenure. After all, Fangio is reportedly the highest paid defensive coordinator in the NFL. He has not struck me as a guy who would make a decision based on money, but everyone's got a mortgage to pay.