NFL

We have our answer on Paraag Marathe

When the 49ers embarked on their twisty-turny search for guys to pick the players and coach them, I wrote a story titled “49ers’ great unknown as they search for GM, coach: The power of Paraag.”

Well, well, well. Now we know.

Before we get into that … it’s been a little while since I’ve written about the 49ers, and a lot has happened.

This seems to be a very odd search, and not just because most teams would try to hire a general manager first. If the 49ers were trying to build leverage against Shanahan, aren’t there better choices than Cable? Maybe with every other open head coaching position getting filled, there weren’t many NFL employees who’d even appear to be viable candidates, and the 49ers weren’t going to stir up a huge dust storm by interviewing a college head coach when they had no intentions of going that route. Still, very strange. Cable? Really? Shanahan and his agent probably popped a bottle of expensive champagne on Sunday, and not just because Shanahan’s team just scored 36 on Cable’s.

The 49ers seem to be burning some bridges along the way, but they probably don’t mind annoying the Seattle guys. It’s payback for the Seahawks complete ownage of the 49ers since 2013, I guess.

***

OK, now it’s Marathe time. Ugh, that might be the least inspiring sentence I’ve ever written.

The answer to that last question might start with “Mike” and ends with “Nolan.” Seriously, who else would the 49ers hire if they screw up this Shanahan thing? Chuck Pagano (if he gets fired by Jim Irsay)? Trent Dilfer?

I like the idea of Shanahan coaching the team from an offensive perspective (we’ll see about his personality if they seal the deal), but the 49ers have backed themselves into quite a corner. I can’t remember a coaching search ever looking like this, where a team semi-publicly narrows it down to one candidate and has to wait several days to sign that person. I suck at poker, but I would feel pretty confident if I was going against the Yorks.

Oh, and we got this from Mike Florio (Pro Football Talk), who doesn’t seem to be quite as close with Jedraag as Silver and other national reporters:

So how did it get to this point? Despite the widespread popular belief that the 49ers are currently the most dysfunctional team in football, the thinking in league circles is that, with some tweaks, the G.M. and coaching jobs could be desirable. The impediment to attracting their preferred candidates isn’t owner Jed York; apparently, it’s Chief Strategy Officer and EVP of Football Operations Paraag Marathe.

Marathe is, as a practical matter, the Russ Brandon of the 49ers. The only difference is that the 49ers make no secret of Marathe’s influence over the football operations.

From his online bio: “On the team side, Marathe reports directly to 49ers CEO Jed York and has a significant role in major strategic decisions for the club as Chief Strategy Officer. He also continues in his long-respected role as the team’s chief contract negotiator and salary cap architect, while overseeing the team’s football analytics department.”

Put simply, Marathe has influence, along with the ear of ownership. He’s been there for 16 years, and he has transcended the bubble of accountability in which coaches and General Managers reside. And that’s precisely the kind of dynamic coaches and General Managers try to avoid.

Shanahan is embracing it because, as his final package will demonstrate, he leveraged the team’s desperation to his full advantage. Moving forward, however, it’s an elephant in the room that may be serving as an oversized anchor.

We don’t know if Shanahan would be a better head coach than McDaniels (they seem really similar in a lot of ways). If Shanahan indeed signs and makes the 49ers noticeably better, it’s an “all’s well that ends well” situation. It’s just interesting to note the dynamics of the 49ers front office. A former Senior Associate Consultant for Bain & Company has risen through the ranks, stayed with the 49ers for 16 years, and “transcended the bubble of accountability.”

I thought only owners could pull off that last trick.

Marathe seems to know quite a bit about the CBA and how to work the cap. But plenty of smart people would kill to be in a position like this, where your boss constantly hands you additional responsibilities in pro sports despite everything crumbling around you. It often isn’t what you know, but who you know.

Maybe the other guy was Brian Hampton. Hampton joined the 49ers as an intern in 2003, and he’s been a part of this process with Jedraag (and Jed’s mom, apparently). We don’t know who the 49ers will choose to be their GM or their next starting quarterback (it’s pretty clear that Kaepernick is gone), but we do know this: Making friends with the owner (or, in this case, the owner’s son) certainly has benefits.

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17 Comments on "We have our answer on Paraag Marathe"

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49erholics_PhD
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49erholics_PhD

Where’s the there, there? I was waiting for an expose or at least questioning Paraag’s position or power. Seems like all you’re doing here is pointing it out and most of us already knew that.

Bay Area Sports Guy
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49erholics_PhD I didn’t know what role he’d play in this search before it started, and apparently he chased away their first choice and put them in a bind with Shanahan having all of the leverage. I’m apologize if you were expecting an expose.

misterjm78
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misterjm78

BASportsGuy good story. Paraag is a loser and I hope Jed figures it out soon. Hopefully Shanahan knows it and can leverage some power away

CameoForever
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CameoForever

BASportsGuy If you star believing crap that Tim K. writes, you will be mislead.

BASportsGuy
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BASportsGuy

CameoForever What was he wrong about?

49erholics_PhD
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49erholics_PhD

Bay Area Sports Guy 49erholics_PhD No apology needed. Was just expecting more dirt on him, which admittedly is difficult to come up with given how everyone in the FO hides out.

CameoForever
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CameoForever

BASportsGuy Back when We were in the running for Harbaugh, he reported he was going to Dolphins according to his “source”.

CameoForever
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CameoForever

BASportsGuy He blocked me when I call him out on it. I had a screen shot of it. #DickMove

BASportsGuy
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BASportsGuy

CameoForever Not exactly. Maybe there’s a link you can find, but this isn’t a damning report by any means. https://t.co/0R3UAIwaTv

CameoForever
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CameoForever

BASportsGuy You’re probably right but he straight out block me. Too funny. No loss. Love your stuff!

TSL
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TSL

Paragg Marathe participating in all the important decisions and accountable to no one.
The smartest people in the room were those who choose not to be a part of this organization.

timlincecumgoat
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timlincecumgoat

BASportsGuy he also said Hue Jackson was a done deal

sluttyapstrophe
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sluttyapstrophe

BASportsGuy I’m about 85% sure the other guy introduced himself as “Brian.”

mctinney
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mctinney

sluttyapstrophe BASportsGuy We know how Jed goes… Bros Before Reasonable Football Decisions From Those Who Know the Sport Best!

mikemaksj
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mikemaksj

BASportsGuy MikeSilver Mike didn’t know you were so chummy w/the 49ers. BASG,Silver clowns u all day everyday, @ least hes got credentials

coredump
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coredump
I wouldn’t wish for it to happen, but if there’s any truth to reports and analysis like this about Paraag, it may be that the only way it’ll be made clear to lil Jed that he needs to *really* clean house, including Paraag et al, is if Shanahan turns them down too. But even that is probably a longshot.  Lil Jed’s myopia, ego, whatever, would get in the way again, and he’d tell himself that everybody who doesn’t want to work for him is misguided, misled by the evil local media or not as smart as he is or something. … Read more »
paraajedy
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paraajedy

I prefer the term Paraajedy

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