49ers coaching staff free to explore opportunities

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Technically, the staffs left behind by fired San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke are still employed. But that isn't likely to be a permanent condition, which is why CEO Jed York let it be known earlier this week that those coaches are free to seek other jobs.

"Nobody else has been let go," York said. "I talked to the coaches. I talked to as many of the scouts, certainly, that are internal. Obviously, we have some scouts that are on the road that aren't in the building. I talked to football operations staff and I let them know that the new general manager and the new head coach are going to make the final decisions on who's here and who's not. Those folks are all under contract. They are going to have the ability to go somewhere else and there's no tampering charges, they are free to talk to anybody else."

Some of those coaches have already begun the process of moving on. Quarterbacks coach Ryan Day landed the same job at Ohio State after spending the past two seasons with Kelly in the NFL. To this point, none of the others have landed new opportunities yet, though that's to be expected as jobs become open when other teams begin filling their head coaching vacancies.

Many times, some of those assistant jobs aren't filled until the Senior Bowl later this month. With most of the NFL world in one spot, the Senior Bowl's secondary function is to serve as a de facto job fair for coaches in need of jobs.

When the Niners do hire a new head coach, some of the current staff could at least get an opportunity to interview or be considered for current jobs. Someone like running backs coach Tom Rathman, a longtime 49er who has worked for the organization under multiple coaches since 2009.

York said he wanted to make sure the departing assistants had the chance to go elsewhere without worry.

"I want to make sure that their families are taken care of and whether they are here or whether they are somewhere else I wish them the best and I respect everything that they've done," York said. "It's not an easy time. Those are the people that on a day like this are forgotten. We talk about the general manager, we talk about the head coach, but we don't talk about the guys that are really in the trenches and I want to make sure that we do everything that we can to take care of them whether they are here or whether they're not going forward."