SANTA CLARA—San Francisco 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke was fired by CEO Jed York on Friday, December 30 after 12 years of service.
Just before the game at Levi’s Stadium against the Seattle Seahawks, Baalke (who, according to ESPN, has two years left on his contract) announced his dismissal on the flagship radio KNBR-AM. He shared with reporter Kevin Jones that his firing did not come as a surprise, and the team reportedly did not comment on Baalke’s announcement.
“It didn’t surprise me. 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.”
Baalke also asserted that York’s decision to fire him was “the right thing to do.” He attended the final game out of respect “for the organization as a whole, and the ownership, the fan base.”
When queried by KNBR’s Tim Ryan about whether or not the team needed potential changes as such, Baalke (who reportedly played a major role in the decision to hire Kelly) said he was in favor.
“Sometimes you need to re-set the culture. When you have a winning culture, which we did in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, a lot of good football players. A lot of memorable games we went through together. Then you transition. At some point, those veteran guys move on. Blending in with younger guys, and sometimes it takes a little longer than you’d like. And this is probably one of those situations. But I do think there’s some very good young talent on this team. With a good offseason, the right re-set, I think good things are ahead for them.”
The 49ers lost their final game against the Seahawks 25-23, cultivating a 2-13 record. Jed York and the 49ers’ Chief Strategy Officer Paraag Marathe will soon begin the process of recruiting candidates for the general manager position. They are expected to interview six candidates. Reports say that the team’s assistant general manager, Tom Gamble, is not among the expected six candidates.