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Schefter: Kyle Shanahan considered remaining with Falcons in 2017

They couldn’t quite make him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

The Josh McDaniels drama has brought stories out of the woodwork about assistant coaches changing their minds after getting a particular job offer. Bill Belichick resigning on his first day as head coach of the New York Jets is the best example, but Dave McGinnis deciding not to join the Chicago Bears in 1999 after the team announced it is another example.

On Thursday, Adam Schefter reported that Kyle Shanahan briefly had second thoughts about taking the San Francisco 49ers head coaching job. Schefter made his regular Thursday appearance on KNBR (audio), and he talked about the Atlanta Falcons making a last minute push to retain their offensive coordinator.

”Last year, I don’t know if people realize this, but Atlanta made a last-ditch effort at keeping Kyle Shanahan in Atlanta and preventing him from leaving to the 49ers — and he thought about it. What if he had decided at that point in time, ‘I’m not going to leave Atlanta?’ And I’m telling you, there was a day there where it was really tempting to stay in Atlanta and not take the 49ers job. There was a day, there was a time where that was possible.

“But in the end, ultimately, Kyle did what he felt was best for him and the credit goes to the 49ers for presenting it in such a way that they made it as attractive as it could be for him. And he felt as comfortable as it could be.

”But that was a situation where he almost stayed in Atlanta last year. There was some thought given to that at that time. And in the end, he didn’t do it because in the end, whether it’s Kyle Shanahan or Josh McDaniels or Dave McGinnis, who walked out on the Bears in 1990 (1999) before they hired Dick Jauron — whoever it is, ultimately your responsibility comes down to you and your family and you must do what’s best for you and your family. Kyle decided it was best to move. Josh decided it was best to not move.”

The McDaniels situation has resulted in his agent deciding to stop representing him, and there is a general belief that he has burned bridges with everybody but the New England Patriots. His existing situation differs from Shanahan a year ago. McDaniels seems set to replace Bill Belichick, with reports that Belichick is taking on more of a mentorship role in terms of roster building, the salary cap, and so forth.

The most important thing is that the 49ers were entirely aware of Shanahan’s second thoughts. He talked about how at that point, you comfort and sooth the candidate and make it clear the opportunity before him. And in this case, Shanahan was not replacing Dan Quinn anytime soon. Any decision to turn down the 49ers would not have been a career-buster, but it just would have kicked the can further down the road in terms of his first head coaching opportunity.

John Lynch is the 49ers general manager, but there is no doubt that Shanahan gets extensive say in the roster building process. Technically, Lynch has control of the 90-man roster, while Shanahan has control of the 53-man roster. But they have both talked about the partnership they have, and the feedback they both provide in this process. Shanahan might have been able to land a clear HC/GM opportunity at some point, but he knew that his partnership with Lynch would provide him plenty of what he needs to make sure he has the best kinds of players he wants to re-build the roster.

I can totally imagine getting some pre-agreement jitters, and wondering if the grass will really be greener on the other side. But the contract length and the kind of personnel power available likely helped soothe that, and the Falcons did not make him an offer he couldn’t refuse. It’s safe to say things have indeed worked out for the best!