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Trent Baalke signed contract extension when Jim Tomsula was promoted to head coach

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The next 12 months are going to be pivotal for Trent Baalke, as Jed York has him leading the search process for a new head coach.

There were some questions about Trent Baalke's future with the San Francisco 49ers, as well as his contract status, and we have some clarity. Baalke was signed through the 2016 season, but Matt Maiocco is now reporting Baalke actually signed a new contract that has him signed through the 2018 season. Maiocco reported the extension was meant to line his contract up with that of Jim Tomsula.

Even with a long-term deal in place, the pressure is on Trent Baalke. Jed York said he will remain general manager, and will lead the coaching search. All indications are that Baalke will be solely in charge, and Jed York will remain to the side during the process.

York was asked why fans should expect anything good to come from this process given the lack of successful coaches before and after Jim Harbaugh. York pointed to Baalke's success building "championship-caliber roster[s]" as director of player personnel and general manager. He said he has faith in Baalke's ability.

It is safe to say that puts the onus firmly on Baalke now. The 49ers are eating $10.5 million of Tomsula's contract, although it would be offset in part if Tomsula finds another coaching job in the NFL. I can't imagine the 49ers want to also eat Baalke's contract if they feel the need to fire him, but I would think that also has something to do with wanting him to actually be successful in this process. But, as I said this morning, 2016 is a make-or-break year for Trent Baalke.

I have attached a poll just to see how long people see Baalke surviving with the 49ers. I did not include in-season firings, as generally general managers get canned at the end of a season. Obviously he could get fired midway through a season, but for ease of voting, we'll just go with these options.