49ers roster: 5 players who may follow Mike McDaniel to Dolphins

Offensive Coordinator Mike McDaniel of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Offensive Coordinator Mike McDaniel of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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SF 49ers, Mike McDaniel
Run Game Coordinator Mike McDaniel of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

With the Dolphins hiring former 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel as head coach, these five Niners may end up following suit.

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan perhaps already understood his offensive staff would look a lot different in 2022 in the wake of his now-former offensive coordinator, Mike McDaniel, rising in league ranks as a potential head-coaching candidate.

As such, the Niners inked former Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn to serve on Shanahan’s staff as assistant head coach.

And now, potentially, as McDaniel’s replacement as coordinator.

McDaniel was named as the Miami Dolphinsnext head coach on Sunday afternoon, first reported by both ESPN and NFL Network and then officially announced by the Dolphins themselves not long thereafter:

San Francisco experienced something like this a year ago when its former defensive coordinator, Robert Saleh, left for the New York Jets’ head-coaching vacancy, creating some speculation whether or not he’d bring with him some soon-to-be-former 49ers to assist with the rebuild.

Few ended up actually following, though, yet that doesn’t automatically mean the same situation will play itself out in Miami with McDaniel.

Here are five players who could jump ship, either via NFL free agency or otherwise, from the Niners to the Dolphins in the wake of McDaniel’s hiring.

49ers Player No. 5: Tight End Ross Dwelley

McDaniel is expected to install his own version of Shanahan’s West Coast-hybrid offense, and an easy player to bring along to help mentor other players on Miami’s roster will be San Francisco’s No. 2 tight end, Ross Dwelley.

Dwelley saw a notable decrease in use in 2021, having just four receptions for 51 yards compared to the 19 for 245 seen the year before, although Pro Bowl tight end George Kittle was notably more healthy last season than the year prior.

Regardless, Dwelley is a free agent anyway, and it doesn’t seem likely the 49ers bring him back.

There’s another reason from the Dolphins’ vantage point, too, as their top tight end, Mike Gesicki, is a free agent. While Miami could slap Gesicki with the franchise tag, having a contingency plan in place would be a smart move.

Plus, having someone who’s served in a variety of roles on the Niners’ own depth chart should serve McDaniel well in his new digs.