The San Francisco 49ers have officially fired Jim Tomsula, and there is one big fish already on the radar. If Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints decide to part ways, expect the 49ers to make a heavy push for the head coach. Adam Schefter, Chris Mortensen and Ian Rapoport have all reported on it, and I can say as well that a league source told me the 49ers want to make a strong push for Payton.
There are a few questions with regard to Payton. The first is whether he will actually be available. He is under contract with the Saints, so it would likely cost draft pick compensation to get him out of his contract. If the Saints want a first and/or second round pick for Payton, will the 49ers be willing to pay the price? I'm skeptical they would pay that kind of price, but that is a major factor in any Payton pursuit.
The second issue comes down to personnel. He and Trent Baalke both fall under the Bill Parcells line of NFL people, but would Payton be willing to cede personnel control to Baalke? There have been rumblings Payton would want some semblance of personnel power at his next step, so that could be a significant sticking point.
The third issue is salary. Would the 49ers be willing to pay big bucks to bring in a big name? Given that he has a Lombardi Trophy in hand, I could see the 49ers being willing to pay up. On the other hand, there is always the concern that the York family will prefer to go cheaper with a younger hire, internal hire, or college hire. Of course, the 49ers are going to eat a decent amount of salary already, so that could potentially go for or against spending even more money on a bigger name.
One thing that does potentially go in the 49ers favor is Payton's personal life. Ian Rapoport tweeted this out:
We are less than an hour removed from Jim Tomsula's formal firing, so there is a lot still to be sorted out. For now though, Sean Payton is at least on the radar.