Report: Trent Baalke era could soon be over

The seeds of discord that were sown with the firing of coach Jim Harbaugh appear to be sprouting.

Prior to the start of Sunday’s game, the San Francisco 49ers administration came under siege from all angles, as reports that general manager Trent Baalke would be fired after the season preceded yet another flying banner with a message from angry fans.

The morning shakeup started with a report from CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, who gave fans a glimmer of hope for a change in the failing franchise.

According to La Canfora, Baalke’s tenure with the 49ers appears to be coming to an end, with the organization leaning towards firing the general manager who has overseen the team go from a Super Bowl contender to potential No. 2 overall draft pick contender in a matter of years.

“It would be a surprise if Baalke was retained, though he has deep ties to owner Jed York and has been viewed as a loyal and trusted employee. The 49ers’ roster has fallen into decay after years of suspect drafts and free-agent decisions, and the franchise is under intense fan pressure to make some changes.”

That same fan pressure that La Canfora is talking about reared its head in full force again, as a fan-funded plane flew a banner over Levi”s Stadium pregame that read ” Jed, you reap what you sow- #firebaalke!”

This isn’t the first time that 49ers fans have taken to the air to voice their displeasure either, as a plane pulling a banner with “Jed and the 49ers should mutually part ways” showed up in late November of last year.

Perhaps just as importantly, La Canfora also states that Jed York’s parents, Denise and John, are slated to take a more hands-on approach to managing the team next year, meaning that Jed may also find himself displaced.

The chips are starting to fall against Baalke after years of poor decisions. Letting franchise players walk, an affinity for injured players, suspect contract extensions and the inability to attract big names to the franchise due to a poor reputation have no doubt hindered the 49ers attempt to rebuild the franchise.

With both La Canfora’s report and the banner, December 11 might be the day that change actually started to take shape in the front office of the 49ers.


Shawn Whelchel is SFBay’s San Francisco 49ers beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @ShawnWhelchel on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of 49ers football.