San Francisco 49ers Rumors: Chip Kelly, Mike Holmgren Could Be Candidates To Replace Fired Jim Tomsula

The San Francisco 49ers are rumored to be looking into a big coaching change with Jim Tomsula seemingly a lock to be fired and some big names, including Chip Kelly and Mike Holmgren, emerging as candidates to take over.

The wheels have fallen off this season in San Francisco with Colin Kaepernick losing his starting job and the team sinking to a 4-11 record going into the final game against the Rams. Many believed the season would cost both the team’s general manager and coach their jobs, but it appears only half of that is true.

Pro Football Talk has the details.

“Per a league source, G.M. Trent Baalke is expected to return. Coach Jim Tomsula is expected to be fired.

“If Tomsula goes, the one-and-done will represent a significant embarrassment for the organization. Tomsula was the hand-picked replacement for Jim Harbaugh, an eight-year member of the staff whom they knew better than any team ever knows a head-coaching candidate.”

The report added that the franchise will likely need to make a big move to gain the interest of fans, who have been turning away this season as a terrible product and high ticket prices have made the team undesirable.

The report identified recently fired Eagles coach Chip Kelly as an intriguing possibility. Despite flaming out in Philadelphia, Kelly remains a hot commodity, and is reportedly being courted by a number of teams.

It’s unclear just what Chip Kelly might be seeking. In Philadelphia, he angled for more power than a coach traditionally holds in the NFL today, seeking greater say over the roster. That ended up backfiring when Kelly shipped away some of the team’s biggest offensive weapons — Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy, and DeSean Jackson — and ended up stunting his once high-powered offense.

A report from Bleeding Green Nation noted that the Tennessee Titans are considered a frontrunner to land Chip Kelly, as they have his former Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, but rumors have connected him to the San Francisco 49ers as well.

CBS Sports added that Chip Kelly will be coaching another NFL team next year, despite his exit from Philadelphia.

“Things went south quickly between owner Jeffrey Lurie and Kelly, with the two meeting before Week 17 and a stunner of a firing going down on Tuesday night before the final week of games. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Kelly end up in Tennessee, Cleveland or Indianapolis. Kelly will likely be a top candidate for almost any NFL job that opens up.”

Chip Kelly is not the only coach rumored to be in the running for the San Francisco 49ers job. The team’s former offensive coordinator, Mike Holmgren, has also expressed interest in the job and could be a good fit for fans looking for a change. As Pro Football Talk noted, Holmgren also has a good reputation for developing quarterbacks. With Colin Kaepernick almost a lock to be leaving San Francisco this year, the team will need to find a new starter, and fast, if they want to keep pace in the increasingly competitive NFC West.

If the San Francisco 49ers rumors are true, the team may have to move quickly in order to land their coach of choice. There seems to be a lot of turnover this year with Kelly’s firing kicking off the season early. There will also be vacancies in Cleveland, Miami, and Tennessee among a few others, as the hiring season starts almost immediately after the season ends.

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