Following one of the worst seasons in franchise history the Trent Baalke era is over. He was fired by the San Francisco 49ers after six seasons as General Manager.
Trent Baalke was hired in January 2011 and was paired with Jim Harbaugh. The two quickly made the 49ers contenders appearing in three straight NFC Championship games and Super Bowl XLVII (Lost to Baltimore 34-31)
After the Super Bowl loss things began to deteriorate from within. There were many leaks that came out from the franchise showing the level of dysfunction and chaos within the franchise. Eventually forcing Harbaugh out as Head Coach as they “mutually” parted ways.
Jed York and Baalke decided to look within, hiring Jim Tomsula who was one of the leagues best defensive line coaches who knew how to motivate his unit to the fullest. In turn, the Tomsula hiring turned out to be a mess mainly because he was not close to being a Head Coach. He was out coached in nearly every game finishing with a 5-11 record.
Just one season in Tomsula got fired and without hesitation Jed admitted to his mistake with the coaching decision. However he still believed highly in Trent and let him hire another coach. The 49ers hired Chip Kelly out of desperation to try to fix the franchise’s image and were hoping for a spark but it resulted in a 2-14 record. This ultimately resulted in the demise of Trent Baalke.
No longer could Jed York stand up to the 49ers faithful and show blind loyalty to a gm that was not building a championship contending roster. Granted the 49ers were surprised with a few shocking retirements and other players leaving but Trent never seemed to adjust his draft and free agency philosophy at all.
Trent made some good picks through the years but he had a lot more misses (ex. entire 2012 class). He consistently drafted players with severe injury histories instead of selecting players that could contribute year one. Trent seemed to be a one man show when it came to the roster which impacted the chance of any coach succeeding. With poor draft picks and only adding a few average free agents a year, it just wasn’t going to work. It is very important for the GM and HC to work together to get the right fits for the team.
For most of the fan base there is a sense of relief and excitement that there will finally be a major change in the front office. Most fans were very vocal during the last few years starting chants, Fire Baalke signs and even flying negative banners over Levi’s Stadium.
The decision to fire Trent Baalke was a hard one for Jed York as the two became pretty close but it was the correct one in order to set things right for this historic franchise.
As Jed York said it’s time for us to re-establish a championship culture.