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Report: 49ers expected to part ways with Trent Baalke and Chip Kelly

Dec 31, 2016 at 5:44 PM


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Adam Schefter of ESPN dropped a bombshell tonight and is reporting that, per a source, the San Francisco 49ers are expected to clean house completely and dismiss both general manager Trent Baalke and head coach Chip Kelly.


"Meetings are expected to occur as early as postgame Sunday, and no later than Monday, to determine their ultimate fates," writes Schefter in the report. "But both Kelly and Baalke are said to know that their time in San Francisco is coming to an end."

It has been widely anticipated that the 49ers would part ways with Baalke following what is currently a two-win season. The fact that Kelly is included in the reorganization is a bit of a surprise, especially given assurances by team CEO Jed York shortly after the hiring that the head coach would remain with the 49ers for a long time.

"Chip's going to be here for a long time, period," said York following the head coach's introductory press conference in January. A number of 49ers players have come out and shown support for Kelly returning in 2017, including OT Joe Staley and WR Torrey Smith.

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The firing of Kelly would mean that the 49ers are about to embark on their third head coach search in as many years. That certainly does not bode well for any candidate searching for stability and patience as the team continues through (or begins again) a rebuild.

Only one franchise during the modern era has fired back-to-back coaches after just one season. Strangely, that team is the 49ers, who did it following the 1976 and 1977 seasons. It would seem that they are about to do it again.

The last time the 49ers fired both their general manager and head coach was following the 2004 season when both Terry Donahue and Dennis Erickson were let go. That team, like this one, had just two wins.

Kelly has led the 49ers to a 2-13 record this season and had lost 13 straight games – a franchise record – prior to the team's second victory against the Los Angeles Rams last weekend. Kelly had previously served as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles for three seasons. Prior to that, he was the head coach at the University of Oregon.

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Kelly had been brought in to rejuvenate the offense. The 49ers offense currently ranks 29th in total yards, last in passing yards, and 27th in scoring. The defense is even worst ranking last in points allowed, total yards allowed, and passing yards allowed.

Kelly has three years remaining on his contract while Baalke has two. 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.

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. While Baalke saw early success, was named Executive of the Year for 2011, and saw his team reach the Super Bowl a season later, the 49ers' roster has diminished under his guidance since then.

Baalke has been the target of fan outrage this season and the Niner Faithful even funded a banner to fly over a home game that pleaded for his removal.

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