The San Francisco 49ers ownership is “open to significant changes” one year into the Chip Kelly era, reports Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. Notably though, the report makes it clear that general manager Trent Baalke is anything but safe going into the offseason.
Baalke has been the team’s general manager through its rocky pursuit of Jim Harbaugh, its rocky firing of Jim Harbaugh, the terrible decision to hire Jim Tomsula as head coach and, most recently, the Kelly hiring. He’s been close to the owner’s son, Jed York, and his job was considered safe by many.
It appears that is no longer the case.
“It would be a surprise if Baalke was retained,” writes La Canfora, who says that despite Baalke’s strong ties to the team, the sad state of the current roster is an extreme circumstance. If Baalke is out, then it’s likely that Kelly’s future just one year into his tenure will be up to whoever the team brings in to be its next general manager.
On top of that, “several NFL owners” believe that Denise and John York, Jed’s parents, will be taking “a more hands-on approach with the team as they determine how to reposition the franchise.” Former Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan is mentioned as a potential future member of the organization, either as a coach or as an executive. Rumors surrounding Shanahan and the 49ers have persisted ever since he left the Broncos organization.
It sounds like big changes are coming to the 49ers, though it still appears possible that Kelly remains with the team if a new general manager either likes him or doesn’t think a better candidate is out there to be brought in. Kelly and the 49ers have just a single win this season and have been repeatedly beaten on both sides of the ball by nearly all comers.