With Jim Harbaugh now having to listen to the exorbitant offer by Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross to become the highest paid coach in the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers have moved on with their head coaching search to explore their backup options. According to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News, Niners owner Jed York and general manager Trent Baalke are targeting former Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels as their secondary candidate.
McDaniels started off hot at Denver, winning his first six games, but stumbled and bumbled through the rest of his abbreviated tenure, going 5-17 the rest of the way. McDaniels also showed the guts to draft the untested Tim Tebow, who now appears to be the quarterback the Broncos are calling "their guy". He might be able to evaluate the proper quarterback for the Niners to take in the 2011 NFL Draft to try and resurrect the team. McDaniels was also the playcaller for the New England Patriots during their famous 18-1 season, when they set all sorts of records offensively. The 49ers are definitely looking for a guy who will come in and improve their offense, the team's Achilles heel for the past half-decade.
(It'd be a little funny if San Francisco did go after McDaniels, considering what happened in London two months ago.)
Matt Maiocco, the Comcast Sports Net 49ers insider, reports that York and Baakle are not counting out Harbaugh, but with the incredible amounts of cash Ross is throwing at Harbaugh, it can no longer be considered a likely scenario.