In an effort to clean house, the 49ers fired general manager Trent Baalke prior to Sunday’s game against the Seahawks, according to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area.
Maiocco reported 49ers CEO Jed York informed Baalke on Friday that he would not be retained as general manager. ESPN’s Adam Schefter also reported Baalke had been dismissed, and reported that Kelly had been fired as well.
2016 was Baalke’s 12th year with the 49ers and sixth as the team’s general manager. During Baalke’s tenure, the 49ers have appeared in three consecutive NFC Championship Games (2011 to 2013) and Super Bowl XLVII, tallying a 5-3 postseason record, all under former head coach Jim Harbaugh. Baalke also earned the 2011 NFL Executive Award of the Year honor in his first season as the 49ers’ general manager.
In November, Baalke took the blame for the 49ers’ struggles and said that the York ownership had given him all the financial resources he needed to build the roster. But a frustrating season with at least 13 losses seems to have sealed Baalke’s fate.
Baalke said prior to the 49ers’ loss at Arizona in November, which ended up as the team’s eighth straight loss en route to a franchise-worst 13-game losing skid:
“If people want to push blame, find it, look right here, because I’m given everything I need to be successful in the job I’m doing. Period.”
During the 2016 offseason, the only free agent Baalke signed was veteran guard Zane Beadles, when their multiple needs cried out for a quarterback, wide receiver and pass rusher. In Baalke’s five years as general manager, the team signed just one high priced player on the first day of free agency.
Harbaugh’s relationship with the 49ers’ ownership and management became fractured over the course of his four seasons with the organization. Jed York was unable to work out a contract extension with Harbaugh, which led to animosity and ultimately the parting of ways.
No final decision has been made for Kelly, according to CSN Bay Area, but sources expect him to be fired in order to bring in a new general manager and head coach at the same time.