The Cleveland Browns are reportedly finalizing a contract to hire Hue Jackson as head coach.
The Browns, who had a second interview with Jackson on Tuesday, are “close to wrapping up” the deal, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Wednesday morning.
Jackson confirmed the agreement with the Browns to the NFL Network’s Mike Silver, a close friend. “They made me feel comfortable,” Jackson told Silver.
The 49ers interviewed Jackson on Sunday but never presented him with a contract offer, according to league sources. Jackson spent the past two seasons as offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals.
With Jackson reportedly off the market, the 49ers’ list of candidates to replace Jim Tomsula is reduced. A league source told CSNBayArea.com on Wednesday that the 49ers do not have any scheduled interviews with new candidates and appear to be nearing a conclusion to their search for a new head coach.
The top candidates appear to be ex-Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly, ex-New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin and Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. The 49ers also interviewed Buffalo assistant head coach Anthony Lynn and Cleveland offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.
Koetter is viewed as a top candidate to replace Lovie Smith after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers surprisingly fired him last week. Koetter interviewed with the Buccaneers on Tuesday.