ESPN analyst and former NFL executive Louis Riddick mentioned in a Radio interview with Freddie and Fitz that he was “very, very, very close” to being hired as the 49ers general manager.
Riddick also confirmed the reports that he was more or less tied to Patriots OC Josh McDaniels had he been hired as head coach.
“That was very, very, very close,” Riddick said, via KNBR.com. “The way that was setup, look, San Francisco was very sensitive about the relationships between head coach and general manager there. That’s something, right from the get go, they made a priority. They were trying to look for matches as far as head coach and general manager. It wasn’t a very well kept secret — not that it was a secret anyway — that Josh McDaniels and myself are very close. We share a lot of the same philosophical ideas, just about all of them basically. Because he was taught the game at the highest level by Nick Saban and Bill Belichick just like I was.
“And that was pretty much the deal going in. It was either going to be him and I, or it wasn’t. And Josh decided for his personal reasons that now wasn’t a good time. And when he decided that, I was onboard with that obviously. Therefore I wasn’t in the running anymore.”
Overall, Riddick said the meeting with the 49ers’ brass went really well.
“It went awesome,” Riddick said. “I got a lot of great feedback from them. I felt that my plan was rock solid, and if it was something that would’ve worked out for Josh and myself overall, then we would be there. But it had nothing to do with anything other than the fact that the pairing, it just wasn’t the right time for us to do that.”
Once McDaniels withdrew his name, it became clear that the 49ers were focused on other candidates for the GM job to be paired with Kyle Shanahan.
Ultimately, San Francisco decided to bring in John Lynch and have been bolstering their front office with experienced personnel executives to help him with the transition.
A pairing of McDaniels and Riddick could be in play next year, as it’s likely McDaniels will once again be a hot head-coaching candidate.