San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York met with the media on Monday to discuss the dumpster fire that was the past season. We'll have a transcript later, and we'll discuss plenty about what he had to say, but I wanted to pull one thing out specifically.
Fooch's note: Site decorum is off
York acknowledged that he made mistakes, and recognized that fans had gripes about what has gone down. At one point, KNBR's Brian Murphy asked York about a common criticism from season ticket holders. The team sold stadium builder's licenses for Levi's Stadium, and a big reason they sold a record-setting $500 million in SBLs was because of the excitement surrounding Jim Harbaugh. There is a common complaint that the team hired Harbaugh to get the stadium financed, and then "parted ways" with him after it was done. Murphy capped it by saying there is a belief ownership cashed in and does not in fact care about the fans.
York did everything he could to side-step questions specifically about Harbaugh. He acknowledged he is a good coach, and is not surprised he is having success in Michigan. However, when Murphy mentioned the criticism, York pointed to the fact that the team will eat the remainder of Jim Tomsula's contract, which is about $10.5 million.
York did not specify plans beyond that, but he did seem to hint that the team might be more aggressive in free agency. The team has a ton of cap space right now. I believe they are close enough to the CBA-mandated minimum spending limits that they would not need to go crazy. This offseason will tell us plenty about the team's plans on spending money. If they end up hiring a Sean Payton, they will clearly be spending big bucks. Whatever your thoughts on free agency as an answer to get the team moving forward, spending heavily in free agency would indicate cheapness is not necessarily an issue. Again, they actually need to make the right decisions, but it is at least something to keep in mind.
This press conference is meaningless in terms of actually winning football games. I think everybody can acknowledge that. However, it was at least nice to see York face some of the tough questions people have been concerned about this past year. He side-stepped plenty of them, but he did acknowledge plenty of mistakes.
Aside from actually stepping down as CEO, I don't think there was a whole lot more we could get from this press conference. Again, this means next to nothing for the prospects of the team, but it's something for now.