Why Mike Vrabel said no to 49ers’ D-coordinator job

To read my Saturday column on Mike Vrabel and the San Francisco 49ers’ defensive coordinator job, click here.

This article has 208 Comments

  1. I don’t really get the slap in the face idea. He was offered the job, but he’s on a good wicket at the Texans. Reports are suggesting he was offered a raise (and likely other assurances about his future) to stay. It happens, and good for him. The Texans are simply a more attractive option right now.

    1. I stopped reading when he compared Corey lemonier to clowney. I get that Corey had been a bust, but your talking about a third round bust, not a first overall pick bust like clowney.

    2. If you look at the history of this franchise and the number of personnel who wanted to come here after Haurbaugh’s first year, this turn down shows how far removed they are from what they were.

      1. Matt

        Yes, Matt…a lot of us were fooled after Harbaugh’s first year…remember ‘Camp Alex’ ? I’m happy to have Chip pick his coaching staff, so far, Rathman is the closest thing to a ‘marquis’ name…we’re gonna’ be fine….

        1. I LOVE the Chip Kelly hire and so far his staff seems like it could be formidable.
          I just believe the FO has disgraced the oorganization. This was an organization that 2 years ago many FA wanted to be a part of. The denial illustrates just how far the organization has fallen.
          I think the timing of Chip’ s firing might be the best opportunity SF has to rebuild its winning reputation.

    3. Exactly…and this is probably for the best, he could’ve found himself in over his head with the 49ers. Honestly I thought Mangini did a decent job, especially with the secondary. Need an established DC with proven record…Vrabel is not that, he is speculation, and potential.

  2. If it really was about Vrabel trying to fleece the Texans for extra cash then why didn’t the team know better. If it’s so obvious to people today then why wasn’t it so to the team a few days ago? Were they truly so blinded by excitement to get him that they were so easily duped? Clearly it’s possible but again either the team is truly a bunch of bozo’s and never had any business making him an offer or he lied through his teeth and he’s scumbag who may or may not, according to whom you ask, get his comeuppance.

    1. You have to keep in mind it was not only public knowledge he was interviewing for the job, but that the Texans had to accept the 49ers request that he do so. So they knew he might leave. It is just as likely the Texans went to him with an offer if they wanted to keep him rather than Vrabel going to them saying pay me more or I walk.

      One could question why the Texans accepted the 49ers request if they were so intent on keeping him, but I imagine that was at Vrabel’s behest, because he wanted to interview for whatever reason. Never a good idea to deny people an opportunity if you want to show you care about their career.

  3. I don’t think it was a slap in the face at all. Why not just call it for what it is, he wants to stay in Houston, will be the successor, and his family likes the area. Why does it always have to be a negative on the 49ers Grant? There is always 2 sides to an interview.

    1. Agreed, why leave a team that made it to the playoffs that’s just at few pieces away from going to a divisional round for a team that was 5-12 with a lot less talent when he could probably stay and be DC there in the future?

  4. Probably caused he didn’t realize the distinction of the read option and the zone read option.

  5. How is this a slap in the face? Reports say that Houston worked behind the scenes and gave him a new contract in order to stay. It sounds more like the Texans made sure they didn’t lose a key piece to their defensive staff.

    1. Yep, and also Family plays a major part in it too. Maybe he does not want to relocate his family – the wife doesn’t want to move and the kids don’t want to move to new school’s. He got a pay raise and doesn’t have to move his family. And he’s in a good situation with his Patriot Family (Crennel & O’Brien). Grant – smh, maybe its best you step down and go do some High School Football reporting instead ~ ahahaha. Go 9ers!!!!

      1. Grant has the talent to serve in public affairs with the Navy. Please, enlist. Serve your country and write the daily newsletter for the USS Carl Vinson.

  6. Prior to any moves made in free agency what do you see as the top 5 positions of need for the team. These should be the positions that will be addressed in both FA and the draft.

    Right now I have it as this:

    OL– Specifically the Guard and Tackle positions in regards to both starter and depth need immediate attention. Even if they do resign Boone I think they’re better off signing another starting Guard. I think they’ll address the tackle needs in the draft but in theory they could be looking for starters on both sides.

    ILB– Bowman, until we see different has been reduced to a two down LB. If they want to live in Grant’s world of having 7 DB’s on the field then Bowmans lack of coverage will be Ok but I don’t think that’s the direction they’re going. They essentially need two strong ILB’s between FA and the draft. One to start now and one to groom as Bowmans replacement.

    QB-I’m not getting into this one. We all know we need one and why.

    NT-DT– I’m all for re-signing Williams but I wouldn’t be happy about breaking the bank for him even though I place a lot of value in the NT position. This is a spot that could be addressed fairly early in the draft if Williams signs elsewhere.

    CB– Not at all sold on Brock as a starter and everyone else has been pretty inconsistent.

    1. I think the most needed position is ROLB. We need a pass rusher and I think lighting can strike twice with the #7 pick! I also think we need a stouter NT. Drafting a future LT that can start at LG til Staley contract expire or retires. The rest of O line is ok because of Kilgore,Tiller,and Brown. I think Lemonier should be moved to MLB.

      1. I’m kind of with both of you.

        We need OLmen for sure. Tackle, Guard and Center. Our current platoon is too brittle or porous.

        Next we need an OLB bad. Without pressure on the QB our DBs and LBs are exposed.

        Last, I would say you pick up an ILB. That would shore up the interior defense.

        As a bonus I would say a QB, RB, WR and DB. But the team critically needs to address the other areas first.

    2. Would add WR- no Boldin, Smelter not proven and Patton ineffective to date… can’t even factor in Ellington.

      DE/OLB- Harold needs 15lbs and Carradine is down to his third strike while Brooks is gone. Need a benchmark opposite Lynch. Armstead has a high ceiling at least…….. wouldn’t mind a 4-3 with Lynch- Dorsey-Dial-Armstead as it is probable we lose Williams.

        1. C4C

          Before we make any waves about WR’s, I think that we should look CLOSELY at Smelter, White, our new immigrant from Canada, Torrey Smith, and Patton and the others already on the roster. To me, as with all of us, it’s not so much who’s catching the ball than it is who’s delivering it. I’m for Gabbert followed by Dylan Thompson….

  7. Come on…the truth DOESN’T matter. Grant and Tim will always try to make it like someone slighted the team or rejected the team because the Niners aren’t a desirable destination. I live in Houston, and the fans and the team didn’t want Vrabel to leave. The team gave him a raise and told him that at the end of the 2016-17 season, when Romeo Crennel’s contract expires, that he’d be next in line. He doesn’t have to move his family, got a raise and essentially a promotion waiting in the wings. It wasn’t a slap in the face to SF…just good business by himself and his agent…

    1. Vrabel did reject the Niners, and Kelly failed to land his top choice. No positive way to spin those facts.

      1. A bit over the top Grant….you make it out to be a soap opera of sorts. Rejection! Failure! Drama! Hidden agendas! More failure! This stuff happens every year after the regular season. Been going on for decades.

          1. Vrabel considered taking the job, that’s why he showed up for the interview. All signs point to the Texans working hard to keep him. Is this disappointing, yes, but not a slap in the face. This article is a slap directed towards Vrabel IMHO, Grant is clearly saying that Vrabel isn’t up to taking on a challenge.

      2. Grant thinks he is the # 1 insider in 49er land. He forgets that he is not as important as his ego tells him he is. He will.never like Kelly because he put him in his place in his first news conference. He will never have anything good to say about Kelly.

        1. In fact, Grant is as low on the “49ERS insiders” totem pole, as anyone who claims to have “access” to the team. Grant has no access. His contacts, and sources are nobody’s. We know this because Grant never “breaks” a story. Even Tim K is occasionally privy to inside information, and breaks a story or two.

      3. No positive way, I agree. However it doesn’t have to be seen as negatively as you have painted it. Who knows how this experiment with Kelly will work out but I think that the front office has made some progress from last year, and that this roster has more potential talent than most on this site are giving them credit for.

      4. Are you calling what you wrote facts? That’s a hoot. Your wild speculation has nothing to do with facts besides Vrabel saying “NO” to the job.

      5. Grant. The name of this article is “WHY” Vrabel “rejected” the Niners. Very liberal use of language there, however what’s frightening is that this “article” is 100% fiction. It’s not even reference the fact that Texans gave Vrabel a new contract and worked hard behind the scenes after he interviewed with the 49ers. Essentially promising to keep him with the Texans (like we made promises to Tomsula regardless of regime). It’s all over Houston sports talk radio and being re-tweeted by Maiocco. Why do you always need to see a negative conspiracy?

  8. It is a slap in the face because even though it was a promotion, the bad rep that Jed and Baalke have, poisoned the well. This is just another example of coaches not wanting to come here unless they are desperate or failures.
    Anthony Lynn turned them down before Modkins was hired.
    Grant, please do not interject your personal feelings in your articles. This seemed like it was a direct response to the PC. Does not look professional. Just saying.

    1. Anthony Lynn didn’t turn them down. He was never offered anything. So that along with your hue Jackson logic don’t mesh. How can u be turned down when nothing is ever offered. Ask Tim K then same question. Only person to turn them down was Vrable. You will learn one day, your opinion is all this is, non of it is fact. But that’s why we all have opinions

      1. Lynn withdrew his name from consideration after a second interview. They had not hired Modkins yet. One does not ask someone to interview for a job unless their is interest in hiring that person. One does not ask for a second interview unless there is serious consideration. Spin it all you want. Payton turned them down. Gase turned them down. Hue turned them down. Vrabel turned them down. No formal offer being made is just their way to try and save face.

        1. Seb teams interview to gain an idea of what other coaches perceptions are. It’s not always about the job itself. Yes it’s a job interview but not always about interest in the individual. It’s sometimes about gaining intel. Its like a glorified meeting believe it or not.

          1. Prime, they could have done everything over the phone. Face to face meetings imply serious interest.

            1. Not really. They could have been reviewing film, diagramming on the white board. Exchanging ideas, drills, philosophy.
              Coaches learn from each other, it’s a win win. Don’t believe everything you read!

        2. Your delusional.. Go back and read peyton was going before his boss decided to keep him, they never asked to talk to gase. Never gave Jackson a second interview because he wanted control. So who actually turned who down, modkins had the job, that’s y Lynn withdrew his name. Get over yourself.

        3. Oh an no formal offer means….. THEY DIDN’T WANT THAT PERSON. Dang man,you must read from the book of bull bible. Wow

    2. Yet, Grant lays the column out as if he is using facts in order to draw conclusions. In reality, Grant’s wild speculation is backed up by ZERO hard facts. As a matter of FACT, it’s just as likely that Vrabel turned the 49ers down because he was offered the Secretary Of State position in President Hillary Clinton’s next cabinet.

      Grant’s column is called HOGWASH!

  9. Very professional, Grant. You asked a ill conceived question, Kelly let you know and now you’re lashing out.

    1. We all know, Grant got his feeling hurt when Chip Kelly pointed out Grant’s misunderstanding of his offense. Grant used an incorrect term when he asked about the READ / OPTION, in relation to Chip’s ZONE / READ offense.

      If the tables were turned, and Chip had used an incorrect term to describe an aspect of his offense, Grant would have attempted to use the error as an example of Chip’s lack of football knowledge.

      It’s true, a lot of smart people use these terms interchangeably, but knowing how unfair Grant can be when he wants to try and embarrass someone, I found Chip’s response to Grants question to be nearly endlessly entertaining! In other words, I laughed my arse off for 10 straight minutes after the exchange.

  10. Well, there’s nothing like getting your third or fourth choice. They’ll still probably say whomever they hire is the one they wanted all along.

  11. Slap in the face? More like blessing in disguise. Mangini was one of the more successful Belichick disciples (in that he was fired twice as a HC) and he was just fired as our DC. Belichick is one of the all time greats along with Brady, but outside of Saban, who’s success has been collegiality, his coaching tree isn’t that great. I fully expect Vrabel to be a HC within five years and a DC again within five years after that.

  12. The Belichick angle is kinda funny considering none of the guys from his tree have amounted to much after leaving the nest.

    1. I agree. I mean Weiss couldn’t even succeed with college football teams.

      1. It was meant to. Belichick is the Walsh of this generation. What he and Brady have done is pretty incredible.

    2. Which is why Belichick might prefer Vrabel to stay in Houston where he’d have a better chance of success. Belichick’s legacy will improve if Vrabel’s career blossoms.

          1. I agree. Mr Belichick’s legacy is hanging by a thread as a consequence of the Vrabel ‘debacle’…

    1. I like the organization. This blog is full full of arm chair coaches and gm’s. Everyone knows what’s best apparently. Oh well

      1. Mostly full of other stuff too…delusional quarterback whisperers, amateur comedians, anger management workshop dropouts, 9er public relations trolls…

              1. Seb you obviously have an insecurity issue. It’s sad but this is no place to seek healing.

  13. Grant, you’re clearly into drama. It’s not journalism. That being said, I think what happened is along the lines of his telling them he wanted the job but not being able to withstand the pressure of O’Brien and probably his wife. Sometimes that happens. Unfortunately there was a leak about the offer and so we have it. It’s not the end of the world, for G-d’s sake. Vrabel might have been great or he might have totally bombed. People should lighten up about this. Sheesh!

  14. Wow Grant, this article seems excessively critical of a coach who hasn’t even unpacked his bags. Maybe you’re just upset that Chip questioned your understanding of read-option vs. zone-read during the press conference.

  15. I would think it would be a great challenge and a chance to add to the resume for a DC to come in and put a dominate defense together. I can’t see anyone turning it down because the job is too difficult.

  16. Vrabel and his agent worked the teams for a raise. It happens with good candidates in all fields. It doesn’t mean one employer is bad, and there’s the family relocation aspect that is unknown.
    We don’t know the Niners low balled the coaches as you mention, recent proof shows they have had large staffs, and have absorbed salaries.
    The main slap in the face in the article is your dig against Bowman. The guy comes back from a potential career ending injury, is the heart of that D and you said he moves like a 35yr old. You may have offended quite a few with that one, not just for Bowmans sake, but because they’re also over 35.

    1. Yes. And remember Grant said at the start that the Niners should get what ever they could get for Bowman and move on. Real smart Grant.

  17. Oh, Grant, what a pathetic column. No doubt, Bleacher Report wouldn’t allow you to writethis drivel on their site.

    This column is yet another thinly veiled attempt to discredit the 49ers front office based on shaky reasoning. It’s all a bunch of wild speculation and none of it’s amounts to anything unusual.

    Vrabel could have any number of valid reasons for turning down the offer that have absolutely nothing to do with any kind of snub.

    Grant, you need a girl in your life……. in the biggest way! Because you clearly have self esteem issues.

  18. this is playing out like guy gets turned down by the girl he asked to the dance. so then he talks trash about the girl and the dance. maybe that “chip” on Grant’s shoulder has grown some since the press conference.

    so Vrabel liked Houston better? so what. big deal… he’s comfortable there. he’s got good players to coach…you’re right he needs more seasoning. he probably knows that. is it so bad that Vrabel chose a stronger organization of defensive players and coaches over the Niners? No. it’s probably a good thing for the Niners in the long run.

    in all seriousness; what the h@#ll was that rambling about Bellicheck about at the end? some bizzare relationship drama made up in your head?

      1. where did you get the idea that Kelly was “working” the Bellichick connection to land Vrabel. As far as I can tell the only thing that has come out is that Bellichick recommended Vrabel as a good defensive player and coach.

      2. Maybe Bill was still sore Chip out smarted him when they played against one another, and Vrabel was a way of expressing it….

  19. Not sure about slap in the face. Most illogical column I read. Everything that was given as a reason was already known when a Vrabel interviewed. If he didn’t like 49ers or Chip why even interview? More likely reasons:
    1. Family
    2. Vrabel is not some hot shot DC. Chip made him valuable by putting the news out there..As someone said Chip is doing him a favor. All that happened was he got a raise.
    3. More likely Vrabel decided he still needs time before he can start calling plays.

    In related news, Flaherty, a respected OL coach who worked for 12 years in NY for Giants who won 2 superbowls under Coughlin agreed to move to 49ers and took the same position under Chip.Not a big news since it can’t be spun as ‘slap in the face’

  20. Grant, do not blame Kelly for Vrabel. Blame Baalke. Chip probably asked Belichick for a recommendation, and Bill pointed out Vrabel. He was eminently qualified seeing how he improved the Texan defense so it was number 3 in the league. However, there are factors not under their control. The Texans gave him a generous raise and a promise that he might take over the defense from 68 year old Crennel someday. Especially if he moves onto a HC gig with his stout defense, and if the Texans do better next season. All they need is a QB who does not target defenders as the intended receivers.
    Kelly really has little to do with the hire, and Baalke has everything to do, since it was his job. Obviously, he failed. Do not give a pass to Jed, either. That leak just before Tomsula coached his last game was despicable. It may have given someone in the front office his schadenfreude moment, but it painted Jed as a clueless blithering idiot. Jed never should have even breathed his decision. Instead, he shouted from the rooftops so even the taco guys and Joan heard. Jed has little class, and when he referred to the coach he just fired as Jimmy T, he lost all of my respect for him. At least what little I had.
    Vrabel is not stupid. If he sees Jed behaving like a little kid, how is he not going to extrapolate what happened to Tomsula, to what will happen to him if he comes to the Niners? Jed is the coach killer. Additionally, no competent coach is going to take a Niner job without calling JH to get his feedback. Imagine what he will say.
    The only way for me to forgive Jed for his transgressions is if goes on his hands and knees and begs Tomsula for forgiveness. Earlier, I said tongue in cheek that I preferred Tomsula over Nolan. Now I am thinking that Tomsula might be the only coach that will accept the position. Kelly needs to check his ego at the door, but it might be the best solution. Kelly will keep the offense, and Tomsula would concentrate on the defense. Tomsula would go back to his level of competence, and his popularity in the locker room will provide continuity and cohesion. Of course, Baalke will never go for it, so it is a moot point.

      1. Tomsula is a basic, elemental man who has his pride. He did not deserve his fate.
        Jed is paying him, why not let him do something he loves?
        Chip’s defenses were the near the last every year at Philly. He should stick to his strengths. Tomsula was a coach for those NFCCG’s and one year, the D line only let in one rushing TD ALL YEAR. The man knows Niner defense.

            1. Is there a Catholic NFL division? Maybe he could go work for Notre Dame?

              or maybe the Arizona Cardinals who are based in PHOENIX?

            2. Watching the time go
              And feeling belief grow
              Rise above the obstacles
              People beseech me
              But they’ll never teach me
              Things that I already know (I know)

              Dreams that have shattered
              May not have mattered
              Take another point of view
              Doubts will arise, though
              Like chasing a rainbow
              I can tell a thing or two (That’s true)

              You’ve got to believe in yourself
              Or no one will believe in you
              Imagination like a bird on the wing
              Flying free for you to use (OK baby)

              I can’t believe they stop and stare
              And point their fingers, doubting me
              Their disbelief suppresses them
              But they’re not blind
              It’s just that they won’t see

              I’m a believer
              I ain’t no deceiver
              Mountains move before my eyes
              Destiny planned out
              I don’t need no handout
              Speculation of the wise

      1. Well, it is the offseason and no football games til August. I thought this was the time for idle speculation. Still have the Senior Bowl, Combine, FA and the draft.

  21. Hey, the Texans just hiked their ticket prices. Could it be a direct result of the raise they just gave Vrabel?

    1. Guess the Vrabel matter was an easy target on a Friday afternoon. Deceit! Face slapping! Rejection! Failure!

  22. I think Chip and the Niners would benefit from having an experienced DC who is willing to adapt. Doesn’t have to be a defensive genius, but one who can communicate and relate well to the players. Someone experienced but not too old (under 50). He would need to find several workable combinations of starters and back-ups to rotate in without losing effectiveness. Niners have several versatile players in defense which should help. The success of the defense will depend far more on the ability of Baalke to shore up on defensive depth than on scheming by the DC.

        1. Funny how we cherry-pick Baalke’s actions and words. He backs Kaep and Baalke’s brilliant. Anything else Baalke says or does is vilified. Yup. pick your message and make it fit…

            1. I was an awkward 4 foot iguana until all that atomic testing in the Pacific after WW2.

          1. No, I never in a million years would say he is brilliant. Baalke is just eating major humble pie. Kaep was upset about all the leaks, and felt betrayed. Baalke had to backtrack and eat crow. I suspect if Baalke was not the leaker, he was very close to the leaker.
            Baalke better talk up Kaep, because if Kaep fails, Baalke will lose his job.

  23. This is not one of Grant’s finest hours. Vrabel had many reason to not want the job, but the fact that Kelly runs a no-huddle is a flawed argument. Tom Brady ran a no-huddle in NE too, you know? In fact, if the Niner offense is successful, it will put pressure on the opposing team to score, and be one dimensional. If the Defense was good, it would force 3 and outs. What made the Niners so good under Walsh was they would always score on the first and 2nd possession, and made it look easy. They didn’t have to go on long drives either. And then the defense would force the other team to go 3 and out. Kelly is an innovative coach. He needs a defensive coordinator who can do the same. Vrabel is not that guy.

    1. Fan, nice post. Your point about the NE passing offense hits home and may have been a reason they liked Vrabel. People are making too much about this time of possession thing.

  24. Did you all notice that the rumor mill has been “off” lately? Not inaccurate just off-time. I wonder if they’re trying to root out the leaker?

    1. They should employ a tried and true method of ferreting him out by planting select false info and deducing from the leak who the perpetrator is.

    1. Really insightful article. Thanks. It highlights some of the reasons I am very wary of the Kelly hiring. It will either spectacularly succeed or fail and the first iteration did not inspire confidence.

      Very smart guy and I hope he succeeds. Just don’t have confidence in the FO to get it right and I’m not sure that Kelly is it, though outside of Shaw I would not know a HC I would be really excited over, I would only be moderately excited about him.

  25. Most clearly by now, Chip will attack in all three phases of the game. High risk on defense, hunts turnovers, so also high reward. Do your research. Lots to learn.

      1. Grant, their loss is the Niners gain. I am jumping for joy. Everything that I have been begging them to do will be implemented. The hurry up with quick snaps. Spreading them wide and then gashing them up the middle. Shrewd and astute game management. Stop running into the teeth of the defense. Making the proper adjustments. Becoming unpredictable. Accentuating their strengths and masking their weaknesses. Properly utilizing their skillsets.
        I am optimistic.

        1. Seb, show some modesty….please…. Yes, you do know all, but don’t go over-the-top so frequently. It just tarnishes your image.

          1. Cassie, I did not say that they would do the things I have been begging them to do just because I say them, because obviously, they have not.
            They will do those things because Chip is here, and he will do those things. Chip will do the same things I have been begging them to do because I have been just reiterating what Chip has done before.
            Believe it or not, Chip runs the hurry up offense with quick snaps.He just calls it his up tempo offense. Bill Walsh showed how to shape an opponent by spreading them wide, then gashing them up the middle. I have also seen Chip draw up the exact same scheme. I have said they should accentuate their strengths while disguising their weaknesses. Chip says they will play to their strengths while masking their deficiencies.

              1. Prime, back again? Lets see, you said Kaep would be cut because he sucks.
                Guess again. Keep spewing stuff out of your rear end. Get it out of your system.

      2. Step back, lose your ego, write without a bias created by the. Philadelphia press, and the undermining of Chip behind the scene by Howie R., who has tried to further his own agenda from the beginning. Do your readers a favor and give them factual information and your own personal critiques as they are deserved. “Other teams didnt want him” is a poor and amateur justification for the point you were trying to make as was your poorly reasoned points as to why the DC offer
        was not accepted. Surely you can do better…if not, stop trying to poison the fans based on your baseless speculations and start a blog on something you are more suited for.

  26. What do you get when you cross Colin Kaepernick with Chip Kelly?

    Colin Kelly, OT CFL and yep, you guessed it, an ACL survivor….

  27. 2013 Oregon State Pro Day: Offensive lineman Collin Kelly recorded 28 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, adding a 29.5-inch vertical jump, 9-foot-3 broad jump and 5.38 40-yard dash. A two-year starter at right tackle, he could be a late-round draft choice, but more likely an undrafted free agent.

  28. Vrabel was probably told that Crennel will be done in 1-2 years and that’s going to be Vrabel’s gig. He got a raise, can bide his time, learn his craft, stay in a state with no income tax own a home 3X the size of the same home in Cali. I get why he didn’t take the gig.

  29. I’ve been doing some research on cap space. At the end of 2014, the amount of cap space available league wide for free agents and draft picks was about $190 million. The cap for 2015 went up about $10 million per team so this added $320 million to the cap space available for free agency and draft picks at the start of the offseason prior to the 2015 season. So about $510 million.

    According to OverTheCap.com, the league-wide cap space available now for free agents and draft pics is a whopping $827 million. This assumes a new annual salary cap of $150 million per team and includes rollover of cap space from the end of 2015. So that is an extra $317 million available to chase free agents. I suspect free agent contracts will be through the roof and we’ll be surprised (dismayed) at how little our money buys.

    1. Should have mentioned that the 49ers are ranked third with about $53.5 million in cap space (Jaguars have $76.6 million and the Raiders have $67.9 million). Bears are 4th with $52.6 million, followed by Bucs with $50.7 million, Giants with $43.4 million and Titans with $40.6 million.

    2. Cubus, just as long as they spend it. I will scream if Baalke hoards another 13 mil all season.
      I would be content if they use a lot of the cap space to re-sign their FAs, especially Boone and Williams.

      1. Seb,

        For the millionth time, Baalke didn’t have that amount in time to do anything meaningful with it. And please don’t mention Mathis. By this time, it’s pretty clear he wanted to play somewhere he had a chance to win.

        1. He had ALL SEASON. Granted, the elite ones were taken, but he could have poached players off any practice squad, and there still were lots of FAs available.
          Baalke did not even try. He grabbed couch potato RBs, why not linemen? He even let Hawkinson get poached and traded away a center. He cut Looney, who became a starter. Baalke did not want to win, it seems.

      1. I wonder if Chip is turning to someone on the Carolina staff. Target would have been announced by now.

        1. If they can’t get Vrabel to leave the Texans what are the chances they can lure someone from a SB contending team to come here?

          1. I understand the issue you bring up. We’ll just have to see how Kelly handles it. So far I like his moves.

            1. Jed’s Target card was compromised in that Target hack a few years ago. Seb was head of Target’s IT office. After the breach, Seb was let go…

              1. No, Cassie. Target is more your style. Sounds like you had inside information.
                I am content just creating beauty that is functional, and growing big flowers.

  30. Well that was a waist of time. You missed the real reason. Houston matched the money, said he would be DC there in the future and his wife did not want to move, all things being equal.

  31. Just an idle thought, but I wonder how many other teams have been slapped in the face recently. If we went back say 3 or 5 years or so, how many interviews took place and offers made only to have to the current employer step up and give the valued employee a reason to stay? I’m not inclined to dig up the stats, but I suspect it happens pretty regularly in this competitive, capitalistic society of ours. I’ll bet there’s a lot of face slapping going on. It’s sad, really.

      1. Perhaps not, and that’s a valid point, but we don’t know what the discussion was like between Vrabel and Houston. It could very well be they are lining him up with that exact same promotion without uprooting his family. He just has to be patient. Of course, I don’t know that either but it is very possible and most certainly does not constitute a slap in the face of the 49ers.

        What if Rathman got an offer for an offensive coordinator position with another team, then Chip says whoa whoa whoa there big fella, just be patient for a year, let me mentor you up, and you’ll be the offensive coordinator next year. Because that’s how much we love you, Rathman. Oh and by the way you don’t have to uproot your family.

        Don’t you think that’s at least possible?

        1. All things being equal, no, they don’t. But in this case, things clearly aren’t equal. Of course, you don’t need to look at the whole picture to reach a conclusion. Nah, just figure our your conclusion first, then pick the facts that fit and ignore the rest.

    1. I think Chip will be smart and get coaches who have knowledge about many systems and schemes, so they can be versatile, adaptable and fungible.

  32. The comments for that article are great. Grant, you’re totally confused between being a credible reporter and a blog curator. That whole article was some made up BS, presented as fact, that came out of the Cohn Zone. Cohn Zone– what weird place to be.

  33. The Houston papers were speculating Vrabel’s family was already not thrilled with him working in Texas and really would not have been happy to have to move again within three years. The other point they made was the Texans have probably told Vrabel he has a better than good shot of becoming their D coordinator sooner rather than later with them possibly pushing Crennel out.

  34. Grant, you really suck. Back to back articles consisting of negative allegations dressed up as “facts” first about Colin Kaepernick and now about Mike Vrabel. Instead of writing columns that consist of nothing more than conjecture pulled from your lower half, you might want to consider doing some actual reporting. I know it’s easy to just make up stories about Kap’s motivation for multiple surgeries or Vrabel’s motivation for passing up his job–but maybe its time to start earning that paycheck.

    1. Leo

      That would require Grant to do some actual research. He prefers to, as you point out, extract theorems from his nether anterior region. Let him be. We’re only on here for each other, as it turns out.

  35. If his wife and her parents are from the East Coast, It is a long way to bring the grandkids for a visit.

  36. I really wouldn’t mind if chip is keeping an eye out for someone from the cardinals staff. One, it would weaken a division rival, two would give us insight into a division foe, and three the way they adapted when their own defense when injuries plagued them was pretty good. In theory, Mangini was supposed to structure our defense like the cardinals, heavy with the presence of safeties and DB’s. But looking back at the season, we just don’t have the talent at corner the cardinals do. When healthy, I thought our safeties were pretty good but the corners on the outside simply don’t hold up consistent enough, especially against speedy receivers most of the playoff teams have.

  37. Headline alludes to actual reporting, not conjecture. When the phrase “my guess” is used multiple times…there is no insight.

    Grant, some advice…build some relationships, get access, form opinions based on information your readers don’t have. Articles like these are garbage.

  38. I think the real reason was that Houston promised Vrabel the defensive coordinator’s job next season when Romeo Crennel’s contract is up. Seriously.

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