There was a time in early January when all signs were pointing toward the 49ers hiring Louis Riddick as their next general manager.
The ESPN analyst and longtime Redskins and Eagles personnel executive even came out on the airwaves and said he was extremely interested in the job.
And according to an appearance Riddick made Thursday evening on Freddie and Fitz, he was nearly hired by Jed York.
“That was very, very, very close,” Riddick began. “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.”
Once McDaniels pulled his name from consideration, the 49ers did not grant Riddick a second interview. York was not interested in trying to pair him with any other head coach than the Patriots’ offensive coordinator.
On an ESPN graphic, Riddick completely changed his tune. A month prior he called the 49ers the most attractive job opening on the market because you get to start from scratch. Now?
When Louis Riddick was a candidate for 49ers GM he called it the best job situation for a new head coach. Now he calls it the worst. pic.twitter.com/rtpxdVwLhb
— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) February 9, 2017
“People are like, ‘Oh, it’s sour grapes. He’s salty.’ And I’m like, look man, most of the time when people are commenting, it’s amazing how people talk about stuff they don’t know anything about,” Riddick said. “But I wasn’t salty about it at all. It was a great opportunity. I had a great interview with Paraag Marathe and the owner Jed York in New York City. It went awesome. Got a lot of great feedback from them. I thought my plan was rock solid. And if it was something that would’ve worked out for Josh and myself, you know overall, then we would be there.
“But it had nothing to do with other than the fact that the pairing, it wasn’t the right time for us to do that. And that’s fine. That’s fine. It’s still something that I’m interested in for sure.”