With the NFL’s poaching season still open, another valued member of the Panthers’ defensive staff is a potential target.
According to Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee, Eric Washington, who’s coached Carolina’s defensive line for six seasons, has landed on San Francisco’s radar.
The 49ers, who fired head coach Chip Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke two weeks ago, are slowly refilling their staff. Washington would be a candidate to take over at defensive coordinator under presumptive head coach Kyle Shanahan.
After three seasons in Chicago, Washington was brought to Carolina by Ron Rivera in 2011. Since then, the Panthers’ defensive line has been one of the most feared in the league, even though the group accounted for just 23 of the team’s 47 sacks this season.
Because Carolina considers Washington a rising star, there’s no guarantee they would allow the 49ers to talk to him. They did grant Steve Wilks permission to interview for the Redskins’ defensive coordinator opening, but Wilks was in line for the same role with the Panthers once Sean McDermott left to take the head job in Buffalo.
The Panthers currently have coaching vacancies at wide receiver and in the secondary. They’re not expected to fill either until after this week’s Senior Bowl.