In February, Vic Fangio met with the San Francisco 49ers, and some felt he might join the team as a consultant for the 2022 season. However, it was later reported that the longtime coach would be taking a year off.

Fangio served as the 49ers’ defensive coordinator from 2011-14 before serving in the same role with the Chicago Bears (2015-18) and then the Denver Broncos head coach (2019-21). San Francisco looked to bring Fangio back when Kyle Shanahan became the head coach in 2017, but Fangio couldn’t get out of his contract with the Bears.

Fangio is back in Santa Clara—for today, at least. The 63-year-old coach was on hand to observe the start of the 49ers’ three-day rookie minicamp. Maybe he will have a future—in some role—in Santa Clara after all, whenever he decides to return to the game.

It looked like the 49ers might have to search for a new defensive coordinator for the second year in a row after teams expressed interest in DeMeco Ryans, who replaced Robert Saleh in 2021. The Minnesota Vikings interviewed Ryans, and it was reported that the Las Vegas Raiders might be interested too. However, Ryan opted to decline a second interview with the Vikings and remain with the 49ers.

“I’m proud of him for doing it,” Shanahan said on February 1 when asked about Ryan’s declining the second interview. “Minnesota’s a great place, but DeMeco is a stud. DeMeco is going to be a head coach. He’s too good not to be, whether it’s this year, whether it’s next year, whether it’s anytime, but DeMeco’s going to be a head coach …. But he’s only going to get stronger every year that he coaches, regardless of what he’s coaching.

“But it was cool that he had the confidence to make that decision. Whatever he thought was best for him and his family. And I know we’re very gratefully he did because it makes the Niners better, and I think it’s going to make him continue to get better also.”

Second-year quarterback Trey Lance also stopped by the practice session to get a look at the 49ers’ latest group of rookies.

Most expect Lance to be the 49ers’ starting quarterback in 2022 after serving as Jimmy Garoppolo’s backup in 2021 and playing just 178 snaps during his rookie campaign.

San Francisco’s rookie minicamp ends on Sunday.