5 San Francisco 49ers players who may follow Steve Wilks out the door

San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks
San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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The 49ers fired Steve Wilks on Wednesday, and these five players could ultimately have a similar fate this offseason.

The San Francisco 49ers ultimately decided that defensive coordinator Steve Wilks wasn't the right man for the job, pulling the plug on his tenure with the organization after just one season.

While head coach Kyle Shanahan lauded Wilks as a coach, there were noticeable rifts between both him and the coordinator that were arguably only covered up by the Niners' success over the course of the year and up into the Super Bowl.

San Francisco's new vacancy will be an attractive position, yes. The team still boasts elite-level talent from the defensive line through the secondary.

But a few of those who were part of that defense may wind up suffering a Wilks-like fate this offseason.

Including these five players.

No. 5: Safety Tashaun Gipson

Veteran safety Tashaun Gipson is a free agent this offseason and is well on the wrong side of 30 years old.

Sadly, perhaps the last biggest memory of him in a San Francisco uniform might be letting up on that deep bomb of a pass from Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the Super Bowl that, if Gipson had kept running, could have been an easy interception.

Gipson's impending departure is likely going to be influenced by the maturation of 2023 rookie safety Ji'Ayir Brown, who showed plenty of promise in year one and looks to be the perfect counterpart to All-Pro strong safety Talanoa Hufanga, who'll work his way back from a torn ACL suffered earlier in the season.

That pretty much closes the door on Gipson returning to the 49ers in 2024.

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