Changes to 49ers coaching staff begin; 11 players signed to reserve/future contracts

The NFL machine never stops turning. The 49ers season came to an end on Sunday evening and changes to the coaching staff have already begun.

Solomon Wilcots was the first to report that assistant head coach and tight ends coach Jon Embree will not be returning to the 49ers for the 2022 season.  

Embree was hired by the 49ers in 2017 shortly after Kyle Shanahan was named head coach.

During his time with San Francisco, Embree helped George Kittle become one of the best tight ends in the game. In addition to Kittle, 2020 sixth round draft pick Charlie Woerner showed growth during his second NFL season.

San Francisco will also be looking for a new assistant offensive line coach. Mike Klis of 9News in Denver is reporting that Butch Barry will be hired as the offensive line coach for the Denver Broncos.

Barry was a senior analyst with the Green Bay Packers in 2020, working with new Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett and new offensive coordinator Justin Oetten.

This is a 2021 photo of Butch Barry of the San Francisco 49ers NFL football team. (AP Photo)

Barry joined the 49ers staff in February 2021 and spent this past season working under offensive line coach Chris Foerster.

San Francisco has also started the process of putting together their roster for 2022, signing eleven players to reserve/future contracts including:

TE Tanner Hudson

FB Josh Hokit

OL Alfredo Gutierrez

WR Austin Mack

WR Conor Wedington

LB Curtis Robinson

DT Chris Slayton

TE Jordan Matthews

WR KeeSean Johnson

CB Ka’dar Hollman

DL Alex Barrett

All of the players, with the exception of Hollman and Johnson, finished the 2021 season on the team’s practice squad.

With Ross Dwelley not being under contract for 2022, keep an eye on Tanner Hudson. Hudson was signed to the 49ers practice squad on September 3, 2021, after spending 2018-2020 with Tampa Bay.

Between his time with the Buccaneers and 49ers, Hudson has played in 22 games with five catches on 12 targets for 67 yards. Hudson was on the active roster throughout Tampa Bay’s postseason run to the Super Bowl in 2020, playing primarily on special teams.

Alex Barrett could be another name pay attention to, especially if San Francisco is unable to bring back D.J. Jones. Barrett has history with 49ers defensive line coach Kris Kocurek, the two were together in Detroit in 2017. The defensive end played 119 snaps over the course of seven games for the 49ers in 2020, finishing with five tackles and two quarterback hits.

This article has 7 Comments

  1. Complete speculation on my part but I suspect Embree was asked to take a pay cut and is now gone because they wanted to remove asst HC from his role. Not because of his work with the TEs.

    And if that is the case, I wonder if that is a case of Embree being made a fall guy for any perceived issues in game management, and whether they have someone else in mind to take that role.

    But as I said, pure speculation on my part.

    1. That was my thought also. I was surprised (but shouldn’t be) that Solomon Wilcots went right to the race card.

    2. It’s possible the 49ers want to make Mike McDaniel assistant head coach, and the title is currently owned by Embree.

      Giving McDaniel the title would be the minimum the 49ers would have to do to even have a chance of keeping him should he get offers elsewhere.

      Personally I think the guy is a mini-genius from the standpoint of inventing plays and schemes, but a bit immature from a social standpoint. I love his press conferences because he’s downright hilarious, but I don’t look at McDaniel and see Head Coach stature at the moment. He seems more like one of those colleagues you pull pranks and do slapstick bits with than a guy who owns a room with presence and the leadership comes naturally, i.e. players will follow instantly. And I don’t know if established teams look at it that way as well. He may need to put on a serious face for a year to gain some additional respect from these older owners around the league.

      That could inevitably keep him back at least another year and this may be the 49ers way to keep him happy for one more season.

  2. Wilcots phrasing is despicable. Clear implication that Wilcots believes employee practices of the 49ers related to minorities is unfair and/or discriminatory. That could very well be true on other teams but not the 49ers. Shanahan hired a Black offensive coordinator and a black defensive coordinator. Hell Shanahan‘s track record is better than Brian Flores in his hiring practices. No way to know why the 49ers are parting with Embree. Insinuating his departure or how he was handled had anything to do with his race is irresponsible. Wilcots should apologize.

  3. Don’t think so on Hudson. The 49ers have been linked to some of these guys and we saw what Reed did in 2020. All are scheduled to be free agents.


    1. This is why I no longer go to NFL games, on the road or Levi’s. The football culture has shifted in the modern day and too many young fans take this too seriously, and people wind up in hospitals, or worse, disabled.

      I have some second hand knowledge of one such case- at Levi’s where a fight started in the restrooms over something completely innocuous. A close friend of a family member was involved and had to have part of his skull removed by doctors as a result.

      With the comforts of home and not worrying whether I might come back in one piece, I’d much rather watch it on the big screen. For me, it’s hard to follow NFL games in person anyway. I find myself watching the jumbotron to see what actually happened much of the time if I’m up in the crap seats.

      I have not had a similar experience at baseball or NBA games, although we know of the problems Giant fans have encountered in LA during and after these games.

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