Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The coaching rumor kicks off with the Saints Sean Payton after Jim Tomsula's firing

With Jim Tomsula officially gone, rumors are already circulating.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Now that Jim Tomsula has officially been fired by the 49ers, rumors have already begun circulating about his successor.

The NFL Network, ESPN and SB Nation have reported the 49ers are interested in Saints head coach Sean Payton.

On the surface, Payton, 52, checks a lot of boxes. He won a Super Bowl with the Saints 2009. He's one of the league's most respected offensive minds after resurrecting Drew Brees' career after a shoulder injury led him to New Orleans after leaving the Chargers.

Most importantly, perhaps, is the connection Payton might have to San Francisco's general manager Trent Baalke, who remains with the team, and will likely run the search for a new head coach.

Payton was Bill Parcells' assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach with the Dallas Cowboys from 2003 to 2005.

Parcells is Baalke's mentor. And Baalke wanted to hire Parcells when he was looking for a new head coach in 2011 before settling on Jim Harbaugh.

Baalke started his career evaluating talent as a scout with the Jets in 1998, with Parcells as head coach. According to the story linked above from the San Francisco Chronicle, Payton asked Parcells to replace him in 2012 when he was suspended for the season in the aftermath of the "Bounty-gate" scandal.

If Baalke and Parcells remain close, that might be the bridge the 49ers need to make the hire. Additionally, Payton's daughter attends Pepperdine, and the reports indicate that Payton wants to live closer to her.

However, Payton is under contract with the Saints, who finished the season 7-9 after Sunday's win over Atlanta. The 49ers would have to orchestrate compensation for Payton if he is not fired by New Orleans. The 49ers are expected to have 12 draft picks in the coming draft they could use as currency.

Baalke is viewed as a very hands-on general manager, which became a story this season after he was referred to as "Coach Trent" by 2014 first-round pick Jimmie Ward. Baalke regularly works with players on an individual basis on the practice field.

That could be an issue for Payton or any incoming coach. Perhaps it would be best, if Payton were the choice, for Baalke to focus on defensive personnel and let Payton pick choose offensive players. Baalke has struggled to draft productive players on offense in recent seasons.

The 49ers will have the seventh pick in the coming draft, where they might be able to find a franchise quarterback. They will also have around $41 million in cap space, depending on what happens to Colin Kaepernick, who could make $14 million if he's on the roster at the start of the next league year.

It's all a very fluid situation, and we'll know a little bit more when CEO Jed York speaks Monday.


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SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Now that Jim Tomsula has officially been fired by the 49ers, rumors have already begun circulating about his successor.

The NFL Network, ESPN and SB Nation have reported the 49ers are interested in Saints head coach Sean Payton.

On the surface, Payton, 52, checks a lot of boxes. He won a Super Bowl with the Saints 2009. He's one of the league's most respected offensive minds after resurrecting Drew Brees' career after a shoulder injury led him to New Orleans after leaving the Chargers.

Most importantly, perhaps, is the connection Payton might have to San Francisco's general manager Trent Baalke, who remains with the team, and will likely run the search for a new head coach.

Payton was Bill Parcells' assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach with the Dallas Cowboys from 2003 to 2005.

Parcells is Baalke's mentor. And Baalke wanted to hire Parcells when he was looking for a new head coach in 2011 before settling on Jim Harbaugh.

Baalke started his career evaluating talent as a scout with the Jets in 1998, with Parcells as head coach. According to the story linked above from the San Francisco Chronicle, Payton asked Parcells to replace him in 2012 when he was suspended for the season in the aftermath of the \"Bounty-gate\" scandal.

If Baalke and Parcells remain close, that might be the bridge the 49ers need to make the hire. Additionally, Payton's daughter attends Pepperdine, and the reports indicate that Payton wants to live closer to her.

However, Payton is under contract with the Saints, who finished the season 7-9 after Sunday's win over Atlanta. The 49ers would have to orchestrate compensation for Payton if he is not fired by New Orleans. The 49ers are expected to have 12 draft picks in the coming draft they could use as currency.

Baalke is viewed as a very hands-on general manager, which became a story this season after he was referred to as \"Coach Trent\" by 2014 first-round pick Jimmie Ward. Baalke regularly works with players on an individual basis on the practice field.

That could be an issue for Payton or any incoming coach. Perhaps it would be best, if Payton were the choice, for Baalke to focus on defensive personnel and let Payton pick choose offensive players. Baalke has struggled to draft productive players on offense in recent seasons.

The 49ers will have the seventh pick in the coming draft, where they might be able to find a franchise quarterback. They will also have around $41 million in cap space, depending on what happens to Colin Kaepernick, who could make $14 million if he's on the roster at the start of the next league year.

It's all a very fluid situation, and we'll know a little bit more when CEO Jed York speaks Monday.

Follow @ChrisBiderman

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