The 49ers still risk losing Greg Roman to a team looking for a new head coach. But at least Roman will be a bit happier after recently signing a two-year contract extension with the team. News of Roman's new deal first was reported by NFL Network.
The 49ers offensive coordinator is considered one of the brightest young coaches in the league. San Francisco's long-suffering offense finished 11th in the league in yards gained last year, Roman's second season calling plays for the 49ers. Meanwhile, an array of 49ers, from quarterback Alex Smith to receiver Michael Crabtree, had the best seasons of their careers under Roman. His knowlege of various schemes and his creativity as a play caller also makes Roman a particularly good match with multi-talented quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
He was expected to get interest as a head coach in January, especially from new general managers David Caldwell in Jacksonville and Tom Telesco in San Diego, both of whom were teammates of Roman's at John Carroll University in the early 1990s. However, both the Jaguars and Chargers decided on new head coaches while the 49ers were in the midst of their march to the Super Bowl.
Roman's flaw in the eyes of NFL teams is that simply hasn't been coordinator for very long and there's a perception that Harbaugh is the one actually pulling the strings on the 49ers offense. That lack of experience - Roman was a co-offensive coordinator with Stanford in 2010 - led to him signing a relatively modest deal with the 49ers in 2011 when Harbaugh and his staff were hired, a league source said.
Roman's deal also comes shortly after the 49ers hired former NFL coach Eric Mangini as "senior offensive consultant" on Harbaugh's staff. It likely is assurance to Roman that he remains Harbaugh's no. 1 lieutenant on offense.
The 49ers can prevent assistant coaches from moving to another team if they are under contract, as they have done the past two seasons with defensive back coach Ed Donatell. However, they cannot bar a coordinator like Roman from a head-coaching job.
-- Matt Barrows