San Francisco

Niners May Soon Get Clarity in Search for New GM

Cardinals' McDonough, Vikings' Paton are only remaining candidates, but one report says Paton may not have interest in the job

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By all accounts, the 49ers are down to just two candidates to fill their vacant general manager position: George Paton of the Vikings and Terry McDonough of the Cardinals.

Both are scheduled for second interviews with CEO Jed York in Atlanta this weekend, when the Niners also will have a second interview with Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan for the head-coaching position.

Yet according to one NFL analyst, Paton may not be a good fit with the Niners. ESPN’s longtime NFL correspondent John Clayton says he believes Paton may be more interested in the GM job with the Indianapolis Colts. Clayton told a writer for the Colts website this week that he’s known Paton for about 15 years, and believes he’d be a better fit with the Colts becaue of “the configuration of the job in San Francisco.”

“It appears that Kyle Shanahan’s going to get a five-year deal to be the coach and almost the general manager of the 49ers,” Clayton said. “I think he’s going to get authority over everything because I think he’s in a position to do this. He’s got maximum leverage, he’s coming off a phenomenal year.”

So, Clayton says Paton likely would be more comfortable in Indianpolis because he’d have more control than he would in San Francisco. Also, the Colts are in better shape with a franchise quarterback in Andrew Luck.

If that’s the case, then the 49ers could find themselves vulnerable in their GM search, writes Chris Biderman of the website Niners Wire.

“If Paton doesn’t take the job, it sounds like McDonough is the last known candidate left," he wrote. "And if he doesn’t want to be second fiddle to Shanahan, the 49ers might find themselves in a really bad spot and have to reopen their search.”

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