49ers GM Search 2011: Time To Consult The Magic 8-Ball

The 49ers search has taken some twists and turns over the last week with Trent Baalke remaining the apparent front-runner heading into today. We see some tweets about other guys, but as Jason LaCanfora put it:

49ers don't plan to announce a GM today but all signs still point to Trent Baalke being promoted. He's meeting individually with every coach.

The 49ers are likely interviewing additional GM candidates today, but to quote the great and mighty magic 8-ball, all signs point to yes the 49ers will hire Trent Baalke as their future GM. To test out some other GM and 49ers questions, you can use the embedded magic 8-ball after the jump. It has some fairly bizarre answer options, so if you prefer you can head over to this version. I'm thinking we'll begin consulting the magic 8-ball for all future decisions.

The 49ers wrapped up the season with the players as they began conducting the normal end-of-season exit interviews. One of the interesting notes from today came courtesy of Maiocco and Barrows tweets. In speaking with Brian Westbrook they both mentioned that Westbrook indicated he was meeting with Baalke to discuss his future. As would be expected from any great (or formerly great) running back, Westbrook wants a chance to get serious playing time. He basically rotted away on the bench for half this season before Frank Gore went down with his hip injury.

Gore will be back next season, but a new coach will be brought in, which could mean one of a million things for Westbrook. Throw in the fact that Anthony Dixon will have a year under his belt and it really is a mystery what will happen with Westbrook. The upside to the current situation is that the 49ers should have a new coach fairly soon, and definitely before free agency starts (set for March but depends on the labor situation).

What's primarily interesting about this is Westbrook speaking with Baalke about all this. On the one hand this could indicate the team is definitely leaning towards him for the GM role. On the other hand, if the team brings in somebody from the outside, Baalke could retain his personnel role. Although, I'm not sure how it would work with a new GM and Baalke holding a vice president role. Jed York sits as president and often a general manager gets a VP role. Would it make sense to have Baalke as VP of Player Personnel AND a VP/GM when they're both dealing with similar issues? Would that mean a demotion back to Director for Baalke if he's not hired?


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