Dave Merritt might be sticking around with Chiefs after all

The 49ers decided to go in a different direction for their defensive coordinator role in 2024.

Jan 7, 2024; Inglewood, California, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive backs coach Dave Merritt
Jan 7, 2024; Inglewood, California, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive backs coach Dave Merritt / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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The Kansas City Chiefs have been on a quest for coaching continuity in recent weeks. It's been a quiet series of moves for the most part, but they've slowly and steadily been making sure to keep as many leaders as they can from their last two Super Bowl runs as they chase a historic three-peat.

They might be able to complete the entire circuit.

The San Francisco 49ers announced the promotion of Nick Sorensen to the role of defensive coordinator. Following their loss to the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII, the Niners canned Steve Wilks after a single season and went searching once again for a replacement for DeMeco Ryans from the year before.

The 49ers decided to go in a different direction for their defensive coordinator role in 2024.

The 49ers had, in the search process, interviewed Dave Merritt of the Chiefs for the role. Merritt is the team's defensive backs coach, an assistant coach who has earned considerable praise for his tutelage of young developmental corners like Charvarius Ward, L'Jarius Sneed, and more—not to mention the way that Trent McDuffie has reached an impressive All-Pro ceiling after only two years in the league.

Merritt has stated a desire to eventually land a coordinator role, but that's going to be an impossible promotion in K.C. as long as Steve Spagnuolo is on the sidelines. Perhaps the best the Chiefs can do is some sort of elevated title and raise as a further stepping stone of experience.

The Chiefs recently brought back defensive line coach Joe Cullen on an extension as well as Spagnuolo. Contract negotiations with head coach Andy Reid are expected to begin soon as well.

Merritt may still find a suitor this offseason and nothing is settled until the summer arrives, but for now it looks like the Chiefs are ready to run it back with the sort of coaching continuity that shouldn't be allowed after winning consecutive titles.

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