San Francisco 49ers fall from greatness

Gabriel Armenta-Rose,
Staff Writer

San Francisco 49ers CEO and Owner Jed York announced at a press conference on Jan. 2 that head coach Chip Kelly and General Manager Trent Baalke have been relieved of their duties.

Chip Kelly was the Head Coach for the 49ers for one season in which the 49ers went 2-14, earning them the worst record in their division. Trent Baalke had been the 49ers general manager from 2011 and was responsible for their acquisitions or lack thereof, in free agency and drafting their players.

The firing of Kelly was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Dec. 31, the night before their Week 17 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. Kelly still had three years left on his contract. In Kelly’s career, he has posted a 28-35 overall record.

Baalke announced to radio station KNBR that he had been relieved of his duties and would not be returning to the 49ers. “We’ve done some awful good things,” said Baalke. “Some very successful seasons. [I] unfortunately regret we weren’t able to bring a championship to the Bay Area, which they so deserve. I think The Faithful [49ers fan base] has been great. Wish this organization nothing but the best moving forward. I do see a bright future for them.”

General manager Baalke has been criticized for his role in signing players from college who are coming off of major injuries. Since taking over the reins of drafting the personnel for the team, he has signed 66 players, only two of whom have made the Pro Bowl. One of which is still on the team, Eric Reid.

York stated during the same press conference, “…We are going to be judged on what we do and what we accomplish. We haven’t accomplished enough.”  Since the 49ers last NFC championship appearance in 2013, they have gone 15-33. During those three seasons they have also gone through three head coaches, Jim Harbaugh, Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly.  

York’s firing of Harbaugh infuriated fans so much that they flew banners with the slogan “Fire York” over the stadium during games.

When asked during the press conference why York himself shouldn’t be dismissed, he replied, “I own this football team. You don’t dismiss owners. I’m sorry that that’s the facts and that’s the case, but that’s the facts.”

The 49ers have been in contact with many notable coaches about their new vacancy, including the offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots Josh McDaniels and former Oakland Raiders head coach and current Seattle Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable.

As for the general manager position, the 49ers have been in contact with Louis Riddick, a current ESPN analyst and former 49er player himself who also has experience as director of pro-personnel for the Philadelphia Eagles.  

Things are looking up for the 49ers going into the offseason. The 49ers currently hold the most draft picks for the 2017 NFL Draft at 10 — one of them being the second overall pick — as well as having around $80 million in open cap space to either sign new players or to re-sign players to contract extensions, according to football analytics site