Yesterday, I explained why Kyle Shanahan can make a wild gamble with the No. 3 pick in the upcoming draft.
Shanahan hasn't mortgaged his future -- he has mortgaged the 49ers future. Because if the trade flops and they get rid of him, he'll get a fresh start with a new team, while the 49ers will have to deal with the fallout of his mistakes.
It seems Jed York has taken on 100 percent of the risk. From our perspective, he looks weak and vulnerable. But from his perspective, he probably feels he has a get-out-of-jail-free card he can use if he absolutely has to.
Let's say Shanahan drafts a quarterback with the No. 3 pick and he's no good and the trade is just a disaster. In that case, there's a way York can replenish the three first-rounders plus a third the 49ers gave up in the trade.
They can trade Shanahan.
Of course, the trade might work out, and the quarterback might be great and the 49ers might win a Super Bowl and Shanahan might be a genius. But if the quarterback he drafts is a total bust and Shanahan looks incompetent, then York would have no choice but to get rid of Shanahan and hire someone else.
But York shouldn't fire Shanahan -- he's too valuable. Lots of teams would want him to be their head coach.
Instead, the 49ers could trade Shanahan, the way the Raiders traded Jon Gruden to the Buccaneers for two first-round picks, two second-round picks and $8 million.
Shanahan probably is worth even more. So if he craps out with the No. 3 pick, the 49ers always can trade him in for more chips.