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Golden Nuggets: And then there were two

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Your San Francisco 49ers links for Saturday, January 21st 2016

Well, that was definitely a busier Friday than I expected. The San Francisco 49ers have narrowed down their general manager candidates to two. The reported front runner Brian Gutekunst has withdrawn his name from consideration.

There’s some speculation that George Paton from Minesota will be the one to take the reigns of the front office. Just one problem: it’s speculation. Just when you think the 49ers have their guy, something happens.

If you told me Paton and Shanahan at the start of this whole circus, I’d have said “No way that happens”. The fact that may be the duo the 49ers will be signing off on at least means they didn’t have to settle for Tom Cable. And I think ‘settle’ is the big word here. If the 49ers land Shanahan, that’s not settling, they got one of the better offensive minds in football.

It sounds like the 49ers have learned a lot from the entire Baalke, Harbaugh, Tomsula situations and are definitely trying to dig themselves out of the hole that entire drama put them in. Problem is, they will need to face the music that there are red flags with the organization that candidates saw. Regardless, Paton is now the guy—and he’s a good hire if he goes to SF. Remember, this was the guy who had Minnesota competing with Sam Bradford of all people and a defense absolutely devastated by the injury bug. It will take a few years, but if Shanahan and Paton can get the power issues ironed out, that could be a very promising team. Let’s get some links:

Favorite for 49ers’ GM job withdraws (Branch)

49ers could pursue Kirk Cousins regardless of Redskins' decision, report says (Sporting News)

Kyle Shanahan: No deal yet, focusing on Packers this week (Pro Football Talk)

Source: Shanahan does not insist on full personnel control (Maiocco)

49ers radio analyst: York will feel more comfortable with Shanahan (Branch)

Report: Chip Kelly met with Bill Belichick (Pro Football Talk)

Report: Vikings George Paton a favorite to become 49ers general manager (Biderman)

Former 49ers coach Jim Tomsula eying return to the NFL (Barrows)

Pursuit of Vic Fangio says plenty about 49ers search (Pro Football Talk)

What a horrible night to have a curse...