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Mike Silver: Brian Gutekunst top candidate for GM job if Kyle Shanahan accepts

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The 49ers have their eyes on a coach, which will impact their search for a GM.

The San Francisco 49ers have focused their head coach search on Kyle Shanahan, and with the remaining HC candidates withdrawn from the search, the team is also now formalizing their GM search. The team has wanted to pair a GM and coach that can work well together. The search was back and forth between coaches and GMs, but it has developed into seeming like the coach gets more input into the GM than vice versa. But, with Shanahan expected to meet with the 49ers next week, they’ll all get to figure out who works well with whom.

In the meantime, we are starting to get some handicapping on the GM candidates. Matt Barrows reported that Brian Gutekunst, Terry McDonough, George Paton, and Eliot Wolf are all believed to have had strong first interviews. In conjunction with that, NFL Network reporter Mike Silver tweeted that Gutekunst is the likely GM front-runner, with Paton and Wolf next. And previously and again earlier on Tuesday, Matt Maiocco reported on Terry McDonough being high on Shanahan. Maiocco had previously reported the 49ers were high on Gutekunst.

The big question for now is whether or not Shanahan accepts the job. If he declines it, the 49ers would be in a world of hurt. They have no candidates remaining as far as we know, so if next week’s chat with Shanahan does not go well, the 49ers face serious issues. Of course, that also means Shanahan has all the leverage in the world, so the 49ers will be in a position where they might have to acquiesce in a lot of ways.