NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport made an appearance on KNBR Wednesday morning, and as always the NFL insider had some interesting comments. We’ll get into some of the other topics later, but the most interesting in my mind was the discussion of Jed York and Paraag Marathe.
Jed confirmed on Monday that Paraag would be involved in the hiring process. Rapoport was on the Murph & Mac Show, and Brian Murphy asked him if Jed and Paraag are equipped to find the right guy. In response, Rapoport said nationally, people have a lot of respect for Paraag, and they like the way the 49ers do business with their contracts.
The line about Paraag being greatly respected around the league does not surprise me. He talked about how he gets texts from personnel folks around the league whenever the 49ers get a deal done. He specifically pointed to Kaepernick’s restructured deal earlier this year. He said people text him because they find the 49ers deals particularly intriguing.
I imagine some folks figure Rapoport is BS’ing, or was fed a line by Jed. However, in considering the 49ers contracts in recent years, it is hard to disagree that they have done a good job in negotiating them. They regularly have some of the most team-friendly deals. From that perspective, yes, they have a strong business model. And I don’t doubt that other teams’ executives are impressed by the negotiating they have done in recent years.
On the other hand, the culture of leaks that have enveloped the organization is something that plays a role in the local perception of Jed and Paraag. The latter has the ear of the former, and so the team’s struggles in recent years leave them tied at the hip. All that coupled with the past reports (most notably the replay stuff with Mike Nolan) and it is not surprising they are so criticized locally. On the leaks, the level of it has been downright embarrassing. Of course, other teams might not be concerned about that given that leaks are a way of life in the NFL. I don’t know enough about other teams to say if their leakage is comparable, but we’d be foolish to think the 49ers are the only team that leaks. So sure, I can see executives from other teams respecting Paraag. The NFL world is a bizarre one, to say the least.
Here is a full transcript of the Jed/Paraag comments. You can find audio here.
On if Jed and Paraag are equipped to find the right guy:
Well, you know, let’s focus on Paraag since you sort of started there. It’s interesting, because I know the people I talk to, and I know sort of the tenor locally, and obviously there’s a lot of distrust for Jed York and for Paraag. Nationally, it’s very different. Because I think a lot of people — whenever the 49ers do a deal, I get texts about it or calls about it. Because they always do very interesting deals. I mean this Kaepernick one this year, I thought was very, very smart, allowing him to opt out, taking away the guaranteed money. It was a win-win, and really smart. And they do deals early.
“I’m not sure from a business sense if there’s any organization that’s run better. Paraag is like a really respected name in the NFL, which is why it’s so interesting to me locally that it’s so different. And I’m not quite sure sort how that happened, I guess probably because the wins have not come, and everybody sort of looks at the two faces that are kinda out there. But I’ll just say as far as nationally, around the league, from the candidates I talked to — and I try to talk to all of them — and from the other GM’s, I know Paraag is considered a very respected person.”
On being surprised by it:
It’s crazy to me. The Niners are very, very smart with how they do business. And the only reason I knew who Paraag was, was I had other GMs reach out to me and ask me about, “Hey, I just heard the Niners did this deal, can you find out about it?” Like, the Kaepernick deal for instance, which turned out to be very smart for the organization, obviously. It sort of started there, and I had to be like, well, who actually is this guy that everyone is asking about. Because, he’s not, locally he’s on the radar now, but like two years ago, he really wasn’t. So, I only knew who he was because I had to find out because everybody was asking me about him.