Sakamoto: 3 Reasons Why 49ers’ Will Aggressively Pursue Sean Payton

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San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York made it clear that he has a short list of head coaching candidates and it will be GM Trent Baalke leading that process. The rumors have been swirling since Jim Tomsula’s firing and the question everyone wants to know is which head coaches the team is actively pursuing.

York said they wanted a coach that can win Super Bowls and who had ‘experience.’ The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior and when it’s all said and done, I believe that it’s New Orleans Saints HC Sean Payton who will ultimately become the franchise’s 20th head coach.

Below are three reasons why I believe Baalke will make an aggressive play for Payton, as I have a gut feeling he is their top candidate to restore the team’s Super Bowl winning ways.

Team Chemistry (Bill Parcells Tree)

In any sport it’s all about team chemistry, and I can’t help but think that Baalke will bring in a coach who shares his same ideologies. Baalke is on a short leash and needs a proven Super Bowl winner which makes Payton the obvious choice. Both come from the Bill Parcells tree which makes this hire the logical choice.

Not to mention, Baalke has done a exceptional job of infusing talent on the defensive side of the ball, adding an offensive minded coach like Payton would prove to be complementary of each another — and ultimately the right move for the organization.

Note: DC Eric Mangini may still be in play as team’s Defensive Coordinator as he also comes from Bill Parcells/Bill Belichick coaching tree while many of the players want him to return next season.


This draft class is not a very good one, which makes it more likely the team will unload a portion of their 12 expected draft picks. The Saints want at least a second-round pick as compensation which is well worth it considering that Baalke has never drafted a second-round Pro Bowl player but would instead get a Super Bowl winning coach in return.

A coach with Payton’s resume doesn’t come cheap, and the 49ers will have to pony up something of value in return. It’s like what the great Warren Buffett says, “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” A win for the 49ers as York lands the big fish from the big tuna coaching tree.

Payton adds value as HC/OC

Payton would command a higher salary than most NFL head coaches and deservedly so as he has a dual job of being the head coach and team’s offensive coordinator. This would be a smart hire by Baalke because not only does he get a proven winner, but it kills two birds with one stone, as Payton’s salary would be justified based on his numerous roles with the team.

With the 49ers kicking off their coaching search with Bills Assistant HC/RB Coach Anthony Lynn, that will quickly satisfy the Rooney Rule allowing the 49ers to then strike a trade with the Saints for Payton’s services.

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at or call him at (408) 622-0996.