The 49ers have fired general manager Trent Baalke. We know this because Baalke confirmed as much to KNBR on Sunday.
“It didn’t surprise me,” Baalke said of the organization’s decision to let him go. “We’ve done some awful good things. Some very successful seasons. Unfortunately regret we weren’t able to bring a championship to the Bay Area, which they so deserve. I think The Faithful has been great. Wish this organization nothing but the best moving forward. I do see a bright future for them.”
But Baalke, who has been with the 49ers since 2005, chose to attend the 49ers’ season finale against the Seahawks.
“It was the right thing to do,” he said. “This is a class organization,” Baalke said. “… I have a lot of respect for the organization as a whole, and the ownership, the fan base. It’s difficult, but it’s the right thing to do.”
So what’s next for Baalke?
Trent Baalke watching 49ers finale in suite, doesn’t plan to leave early. I asked if he’s going to Broncos; he said he doesn’t have any idea
— Cam Inman (@CamInman) January 1, 2017
Meanwhile, coach Chip Kelly’s fate remains up in the air. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported Saturday night that the 49ers’ new general manager would have the green light to remove Kelly. And that reality probably goes a long way in explaining this report from NFL.com’s Mike Silver:
Chip Kelly called 49ers owner Jed York last night after reports broke of his impending firing. It was not a warm and fuzzy conversation.
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) January 1, 2017
Kelly’s first year in San Francisco has been worse than Mike Tomsula’s 2015 season, when the 49ers finished 5-11 and Tomsula was canned. From 2011-2014, Jim Harbaugh led San Francisco to records of 13-3, 11-4-1, 12-4 and 8-8. That included three NFC Championship Game appearances and one failed fourth-down conversion from winning a Super Bowl. But because of differences between Harbaugh and the front office, the two parted ways and the losing promptly commenced.
Of course, some of the damage could have been mitigated had the 49ers hired Adam Gase back in 2015, but Baalke reportedly nixed that plan in the 11th hour and, well, you see how things have worked out.