49ers have time on their side in Adam Gase chase ... for now

While San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke reportedly returned from Denver Tuesday night without Adam Gase in tow as the Niners' new head coach, that does not mean Gase is out of the picture in Santa Clara.

Nor does it mean Gase has chosen to stay with the Denver Broncos and take over for John Fox, who parted ways with the team on Monday. Broncos GM John Elway confirmed the team's offensive coordinator is a candidate.

The 49ers, it would seem, still have time on their side.

The Broncos cannot simply offer the gig to Gase; they still have to satisfy the Rooney Rule by interviewing at least one minority candidate. Plus, the feeling in Denver is that Elway wants to conduct a wide search before settling on his new coach.

Baalke and 49ers CEO Jed York, meanwhile, have already satisfied the Rooney Rule and may have some more thinking to do as far as what waves may be caused by hiring the likes of Gase, 36, who was a 49ers offensive assistant in 2008.

Sitting defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, a locker room favorite endorsed by linebacker NaVorro Bowman, wants out of Santa Clara unless he or Mike Shanahan get the head job, according to the NFL Network.

Also, 49ers offensive line coach Mike Solari has reportedly been sought after by the Buffalo Bills and their new O-coordinator, former Niners playcaller Greg Roman, to join Rex Ryan's staff in the same capacity, according to CSNBayArea.com. But Solari is waiting to see the 49ers job shake out before deciding whether he will pursue the potential Buffalo opportunity.

Also, per the report, defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, the early in-house favorite for the head job, is higher on the 49ers' wish list than Fangio, despite Fangio formally interviewing on Dec. 30 and Tomsula not having a known formal interview.

Following are potential candidates linked to the Niners since the team and Jim Harbaugh parted ways on Dec. 28:

  • Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn (interviewed Dec. 30)

  • 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio (interviewed Dec. 30)

  • Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase (interviewed Jan. 2/had second interview with GM Trent Baalke on Jan. 13)

  • Former Los Angeles Raiders/Denver Broncos/Washington coach/Niners O-coordinator Mike Shanahan (interviewed Jan. 3)

  • New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (interviewed Jan. 3/reportedly expected to stay in New England)

  • Former New York Jets coach Rex Ryan (interviewed Jan. 4/hired as Buffalo Bills coach on Jan. 12)

  • Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin (interviewed Jan. 8)

  • Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles (interviewed Jan. 9/reportedly hired as New York Jets' coach on Jan. 13)

  • 49ers defensive line coach Jim Tomsula

  • Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan (linked to 49ers as potential O-coordinator under a Fangio regime)

  • UCLA coach Jim Mora

  • Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak (announced via the team on Jan. 11 he was staying in Baltimore, but has now emerged as a possible candidate with the Broncos)