The San Francisco 49ers franchise has sunken to historic depths this season, and the franchise-record 11-game losing streak could result in significant changes. CBS Sports NFL reporter Jason LaCanfora is reporting this morning that leagues sources told him Trent Baalke’s job is in jeopardy, and Chip Kelly’s future is not entirely clear in spite of some recent reports.
LaCanfora said “[i]t would be a surprise if Baalke was retained.” He also said that in spite Jay Glazer’s recent report that Kelly is safe heading into 2017, “sources say that a final determination on that matter would not occur until after the team has sorted out its front office.”
The Baalke news is not surprising, and the Kelly report is not entirely surprising either. If the team were to promote Tom Gamble to GM, it would make sense for Kelly to stick around. But if the team wanted to go outside the organization, Kelly’s job would not be nearly as secure.
LaCanfora’s report gets a little frightening when he says, “Several NFL owners believe Jed York's parents, Denise and John York, will be taking a more hands-on approach with the team as they determine how to reposition the franchise.” Jed York has not exactly done a great job the last couple years with his hands on the franchise, but it’s not like his parents did a bang-up job in the mid-2000s.
LaCanfora says that Mike Shanahan could potentially, “join the 49ers in a coaching and/or executive capacity.” LaCanfora says that his name “continues to be connected to potential openings there.” Shanahan has been mentioned during past 49ers searches, with conversations taking place between him and the organization. He has extensive history with the team, and there have been reports over the past couple years he would want to get back into the mix.
If the 49ers did decide to pursue Shanahan, I would think Chip Kelly would likely be out as head coach. We could either see Shanahan taking over everything, or Shanahan handling the football operations, and his son Kyle potentially taking over as coach. There have been no specific rumors to that effect this year, but it is something the media has discussed as a potential viable plan.
Wake me up when January gets here.