Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports



The San Francisco 49ers have finally announced the firing of general manager Trent Baalke. He had officially served as the team's general manager since 2011. The move was widely expected given the current state of the franchise while under Baalke's control. Prior to the team's final game of the season, a matchup against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium, Baalke confirmed that he had been fired. Reports stated that Baalke was informed of the decision on Friday.

The team also announced the firing of head coach Chip Kelly after just one season with the team.

"I have informed Trent and Chip of my decision to pursue new leadership for our football team," said CEO Jed York via a statement issued by the team. "These types of conversations are never easy, especially when they involve people you respect personally and professionally.

"Trent gave this organization every ounce of effort he had over the last 12 years and his contributions were integral to the team reaching three straight NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl. I will forever be grateful for his dedication to the 49ers, and his friendship to me and my family. I wish Trent, Beth and their daughters the very best in whatever the future holds for their family.

"Chip has my gratitude for the job he did this year, navigating the team through some adverse circumstances. I look forward to watching his career continue to unfold, and wish him and Jill great success in life.

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"Despite my feelings for Trent and Chip, I felt the decision to change our football leadership was absolutely necessary. The performance of this team has not lived up to my expectations or those of our fans, and that is truly disappointing. We all expected to see this team progress and develop as the season went on, but unfortunately that did not happen. That is why now is the time to find a new direction for this team."

Baalke started his tenure with the 49ers in 2005 as their Western Region Scout. In March of 2010, the 49ers terminated the contract of then general manager Scot McCloughan, leaving Baalke to head the draft during the following month. He briefly served as the vice president of player personnel for the 49ers before being promoted to general manager following the firing of head coach Mike Singletary.


Baalke was joined by head coach Jim Harbaugh and the two saw some success together, mostly reaping the roster benefits of the previous regime. Baalke was even named Executive of the Year for the 2011 season after receiving credit for transforming the 49ers from a 6-10 team into a 13-3 team in his first season as general manager.

Harbaugh was dismissed by the team following reports that the two had been clashing. Poor drafting and a lack of activity in free agency resulted in a 5-11 team in 2015 under head coach Jim Tomsula and this past 2-14 season under Chip Kelly.

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The 49ers roster is now considered by many to be among the least talented in the league. His 2012 draft class is widely considered to be his worst. None of the seven players selected that year are currently on the 49ers roster with WR A.J. Jenkins possibly being his worst first-round selection as general manager.

Fans have been so frustrated with Baalke, his inability to lure talented free agents, and his miscues during drafts, that they funded a banner to fly over Levi's Stadium prior to a game in order to plead for ownership to fire him.

Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area has reported that the Denver Broncos would be the most likely landing spot for Baalke, who is still well respected around the league – perhaps as the Director of College Scouting.

The 49ers' assistant general manager, Tom Gamble, is not expected to be a candidate for the opening, according to Maiocco.

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