Earlier today Jed York took part in a 15-20 minute conference call with the Bay Area media, as well as some national media (Mike Sando). We had an open thread and there was plenty of discussion about Jed York's comments, although it didn't exactly meet the epic nature of the David Carr (non) press conference thread.
However, as promised, the 49ers sent out a transcript of the proceedings and I have posted it after the jump. If you missed out on the conference call, feel free to read the transcript, or listen to it at 49ers.com. York basically said it was a "private personnel matter" many times over, and did not elaborate on the details of why the team parted ways with McCloughan. One could read York's answers in a variety of ways. If you want to speculate on things feel free. Personally, since we're still waiting for some clarity, I'd rather focus on the future. If we get more details about the reasons behind all this I'll be happy to post them.
There are a variety of opinions on this subject as we've heard from media sources on both ends. Michael Silver had his share of comments in support of Scot McCloughan a few days back. On the other hand, Pro Football Weekly had an article pinning a certain level of the blame on McCloughan, with comments around the league supporting the 49ers. That just goes to that we can't believe much until we hear from the proverbial horses mouth. I'm not surprised we didn't hear much more from York, so I guess we'll be waiting on McCloughan to speak.
In the meantime, enjoy this banter between York and the local reporters...
49ers President/CEO Jed York
Conference Call - March 22, 2010
San Francisco 49ers
"Good afternoon, everyone. Sorry, I can't be there in person. I am at the owner's meetings in Orlando. I will absolutely follow up with anybody in person if you need me to. I wanted to let everyone that Scot McCloughan is no longer the general manager of the 49ers. This is in the mutual interest of both parties. The 49ers have been prepared for this event. Trent Baalke, our Director of Player of Personnel is going to take over and will lead the draft going forward. He will be the point person in the draft. He will be assisted by Tom Gamble, who I feel very comfortable can step up and add a lot to this process. I will turn it over to the rest of you for questions."
On what precipitated him leaving:
"It's a private personnel matter. I'm not going to get into details of a private personnel matter."
On whether it's personal or personnel matter:
On whether Baalke will have final say on draft day:
"Yes. Trent knows the draft better than anybody else and I have full confidence in him."
On how much it sets back the organization losing their GM a month before the draft:
"Not at all. Trent has all the information that we need. I have full confidence in Trent to be able to execute. He's been the person that's been out on the road. He's organized the area scouts. He will absolutely be able to lead us through the draft."
On what his legacy will be with the 49ers:
"You'd have to ask him."
On why there was silence about this for 72 hours:
"It was five days. I gave my Scot my word that I wouldn't comment on this for five days."
On why he wouldn't comment on it for five days:
"Because my integrity is more important to me than trying to get out a story. I gave Scot five days to think about where we wanted to go and we decided to have a mutual parting."
On why Scot wanted to leave:
"You'd have to ask Scot."
On whether the team fired him or they reached a settlement:
"It's a mutual parting of both the 49ers and Scot."
On this being something that they foresaw:
"We've been prepared for this."
On how long they've been prepared:
"I couldn't give you a specific, but we've been prepared. I wanted to make sure that Trent was as up to speed as possible. He's taken on more responsibility in the past and again I'm confident that he can lead us through this draft and move us forward."
On whether they have a general manager and what the long-term plan is for having people in place:
"Trent is the person that is going to lead us through the draft. Right now we are concentrating on that."
On whether this was a football matter:
"I'm not going to get into a private personnel decision."
On what his reasons were for the parting:
"Again, that's a private personnel decision. I understand the question, but again, we're not going to get into that."
On whether he is legally bound by an agreement:
"Again, that's a private personnel matter and I can't go into details on that."
On whether Singletary will take more of a lead role in personnel than he ordinarily would?
"Mike is concentrating on coaching. No matter who is the point person in the draft, the coach is always going to have a say. There has to be good communication between personnel and coaching, but Trent will be the point person for the draft."
On whether fans need more of an explanation:
"My integrity means more to me. I want to respect Scot's privacy. I want to make sure people understand that this was a mutual parting."
On whether the team will have a new general manager by the time the football season starts?
"I haven't decided on whether we're going to have a general manager."
On whether David McCloughan is still part of the organization?
"Yes. David is a professional. He has been great for this process. He will continue to be here through the draft."
On whether the relationship is damaged to the point where he doesn't want to comment on Scot McCloughan's legacy:
"I wish nothing but the best for Scot. I think Scot has added a lot of good players. But again, we haven't made the playoffs yet and we expect to make the playoffs this year and in the future. None of our legacies are set at this point."
On clarifying the statement of whether to hire a general manager or not:
"I'm worried about the draft right now. That is the only thing the 49ers are focused on. We'll address that after the draft."
On whether he's even thought about hiring a general manager:
"Trent is leading us through the draft. I've absolutely thought about it. Right now, we want to make sure we're focused and concentrated on the draft."
On whether there is an agreement with McCloughan for him not to go to another team before the draft and share secrets:
"He wouldn't be able to do that by his original contract. Even if he did go to another team, he wouldn't be able to share secrets."
On whether McCloughan has the ability to go to another team:
"No, not before the draft."
On having been preparing for this for awhile in terms of days, weeks or longer:
"I don't want to address that specifically, but we've been prepared for this."
On whether this was a difficult decision:
"It's difficult because I care a lot about Scot. I think everybody knows how I have defended Scot and talked about the things he's added to the team. It's never easy to part ways with someone you consider a friend, but again, this was in the best interest of Scot and the 49ers."
On whether he is angry with the situation:
"I wouldn't say angry. It's part of business. Unfortunately, this is what it came to, but again, it's what is mutually best for the 49ers and for Scot. I wish nothing but the best for Scot."
On whether there was an event that led to this decision:
"That is a private personnel matter, and again, I'm not going to discuss the details of that."
On whether you've spoken to McCloughan about him releasing his own statement to shed some more light on this:
"If Scot wants to talk about personal matters, not personnel, personal, he's more than welcome to do that. It's not my place to talk about Scot's personal matters."
On if there weren't personal matters, would Scot have been let go for personnel reasons:
On if this was because personal matters more than personnel reasons:
On what kind of role Paraag Marathe had on this process:
"None. It was my decision and Scot and I worked this out together."
On whether he's concerned about what this does to his image in the NFL in regards to the team's stability:
"No. Not at all. Even if this means negative publicity for me personally, that is part of the job of being the 49ers President. My integrity is much more to me than what people think in the short term."
On when he and McCloughan arrived at a period of five days as opposed to four or six days:
"That was agreed upon five days ago."
On whether there has been a financial settlement:
"That's a private personnel issue."
On whether this move will change his role:
"No, I am still the President of the 49ers, and it doesn't change my role."
On what kind of recommendation he would give McCloughan if another team in the NFL called:
"I think Scot is a very good personnel guy. I care about Scot from a personal standpoint. I hope Scot gets a job somewhere. I wish nothing but the best for he and his family."
On what integrity he is referring to:
"The integrity is about going into any personnel matters and going into any private personnel decisions, which I promised Scot I would not go into."
On the general manager decision not being decided yet having anything to do with Singletary having a more significant role in personnel:
"Mike's not going to move into a more significant role in personnel."
On why there hasn't been any decision yet about whether or not there will be a general manager:
"Because we are just focusing on the draft at this point. We want to make sure that we have a good draft obviously, with 13 and 17, and instead of worrying about roles going forward, Trent will be acting as the point person and will have all the decision authority. So between now and then, Trent is the guy."
On what his timeline is for the new structure in the front office:
"After the draft."
On whether it's before training camp or the season:
"After the draft. We'll make the decision after the draft."
On whether the preparation work is completed for the draft:
"I would say our board is 90-95 percent set. Right now, it's really making sure you finalize all your homework. Finalize getting injury reports on folks. Again, there's not much change to our board at this point and Trent has been intimately involved in putting that board together."
On whether the types of players they are looking for changes with Trent Baalke in charge:
"Again, it's about the 49ers. It's not about one individual and it's making sure that we add people that fit the 49ers."
On whether he knows what David McCloughan's fate will be determined after the draft or if he'll be in the same boat as everyone else:
"He's in the same boat as everybody else."
On whether it means that the personnel decision fits the needs of the 49ers rather than an individual philosophy:
"What it means is there has to be good communication between the coaching staff, primarily Coach Singletary identifying what he wants our team to look like and the personnel department making sure that we find guys that fit that philosophy. We find guys that fit what the 49ers do and that's what that means to me."
On whether it was done over the last year when Singletary became the coach full-time:
"That's the process that we've always had in place."
On whether it will be Trent Baalke's call on who they will draft:
"Yes, like I've said. Trent is the point person. It is his decision."
On what Paraag Marathe's role will be in football operations:
"Same thing as it is right now. Contract negotiator."
On there being no chance that Jed will be the general manager even if they don't give him that title:
"The one thing that I will promise you is I will never be the general manager and Paraag is not going to be the general manager."
On which person another team will call if they want to make a trade:
On whether Trent will have control over free agent signings as well:
"Yes, he's the Director of Player Personnel."
On whether Trent has the trigger:
"Yes, I think I've addressed that in case people are unclear. Trent is the point person in the draft. He will be making draft decisions."
On whether he will be in the draft room during the draft:
On what he has to get out of the owner's meetings this week:
"We are looking at a bunch of different things. Obviously, the overtime is a big issue and I think we want to make sure that we have an accurate system to give teams a fair chance, which obviously the balance has swung from being a fair chance with a kickoff, which it is now and first team to score wins the game. I think you want to balance what's right competitively with how do you make sure that your players stay safe. I think that's one of the biggest issues."
On where he is voting on the overtime changes:
"We haven't made up our minds yet."
On what McCloughan leaving means for Alex Smith:
"Alex is our guy. He's our quarterback. We believe in Alex. Coach Singletary has always believed in Alex. I believe he's always said that he's believed in Alex. I think Alex did a nice job stepping in when he came in. I think it's great that this is the first time that he's had the continuity as the coordinator. When you have some weapons around him with [WR Michael] Crab[tree], with [TE] Vernon [Davis], with Frank [Gore]. I think Alex is poised to have a good season for us and we are excited that Alex is our starting quarterback."