NFL

Sure sounds like Chip Kelly is staying next year, which means …

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Yes, Jim Tomsula was supposedly safe last year at this time, but I’ll trust Jay Glazer over Jay Feely. Peter King even vouched for Glazer today:

f. Jay Glazer’s right: Chip Kelly’s not going anywhere, except back to work trying to create an offense the Niners can win with.

g. That job got harder Sunday, with the benching of Colin Kaepernick during a ridiculously feeble offensive performance in bad weather at Chicago—though the weather didn’t look so bad for career backup (and southern Californian) Matt Barkley.

These reports, coming from respected NFL news guys after the 49ers were losers of 10 consecutive, then 11 consecutive games, means Chipper is probably safe. Which can mean one of three things.

  1. Trent Baalke and Kelly will get one more chance to make this work, after what will end up being one of the worst 49ers seasons of all time. (This is clearly the worst thing they could do, and a potential decision that I labeled a “total disaster” in the story I recently wrote about what the 49ers could do to get out of this mess.)
  2. Tom Gamble will replace Baalke.
  3. Jed York will find someone other than Gamble who’ll work with Kelly.

Unless there’s a scout inside the building (someone we don’t know) who impresses York, or they decide to replace Baalke with Paraag Marathe …

HAHAHA they would never do that! OK, they might do that. Sorry for bringing it up. Again.

… anyway, replacing Baalke with someone other than Gamble would probably have to be a foreigner. An unfamiliar face. Someone from … ***DUN DUN DUNNNNN*** outside the organization. That doesn’t seem very 49er-like now, does it? Which gives credence to this idea from PFT’s Mike Florio.

The 49ers currently have lost 10 games in a row, and there’s a growing belief that G.M. Trent Baalke won’t be back. Would ownership also move on from coach Chip Kelly, or would the team set up an inherently awkward and dysfunctional arrangement in which a G.M. is hired but is prevented at least for a year from hiring his own coach?

If Baalke goes, the best approach could be to elevate assistant G.M. Tom Gamble and let Kelly and Gamble run the show. If that happens, Kelly may want to keep Kaepernick around.

If you’re a regular around here, you know that I don’t think there’s a chance in Levi’s Stadium that Colin Kaepernick returns to the 49ers after this season. However, if Florio’s “best approach” idea comes to fruition, it’ll mean that my prediction from July will come true.

Gamble will replace Baalke within six months

That’s my prediction, and I’m sticking to it. If the 49ers start 0-6, Gamble could supplant Baalke as the team’s GM as early as October. If they meander to the finish, not looking absolutely terrible but never playing all that well either (finishing anywhere from 5-11 to 7-9), the change will take place a day or two after they lose to the Seahawks on Jan. 1 … if it doesn’t get leaked before then. (Insert winking emoticon.)

I still think they should’ve replaced Baalke with Gamble weeks ago, but this seems like the odds-on favorite if we’re looking at January scenarios for the 49ers. There’s no way they want to pay another coach after dumping Tomsula a year ago, and pairing Kelly with a GM who’s either working for another team, working in the media, or not working at all, would be tricky.

Sooooo … Jed will probably Gamble on Tom. And there’s the answer to how the headline ends. Lots of bad jokes about Tommy G’s last name are probably headed to a website near you sometime soon.

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