NFL

The time is now to fire Trent Baalke

Trent Baalke 49ers GM

The Yorks have their ways of doing things, and one of those is the traditional end-of-year bloodletting. Because of that — and the prevailing idea that in the trade-phobic NFL, it’s impossible to improve one’s team from a personnel standpoint in the middle of the regular season — it’s just assumed that Trent Baalke is safe until after the regular season. That is, unless Baalke is still safely employed no matter what happens this season, but that seems highly unlikely now.

Baalke is *probably* on borrowed time. And that’s why now is the time to “mutually part ways” with Trader Trent, or however they want to phrase it. Because if Jed York knows that he’s going to move on from Baalke, any day with Baalke still in charge of personnel matters is a wasted one.

It’s not like the 49ers’ roster is locked, like a commissioner might do with someone’s fantasy football team if he or she either didn’t pay the ante or conspired with another player to create a super team. Sure, York could wait until the Week 8 bye to cut ties with Baalke, but that might be too late. The trade deadline is Nov. 1, and if the 49ers are in a rebuild (check the standings, they’d better be), it’s time to stop doing things halfway. If the 49ers can get something for any of these veterans, the time is now.

  • Joe Staley
  • Ahmad Brooks
  • Antoine Bethea
  • Tramaine Brock
  • Glenn Dorsey
  • Phil Dawson

Yes, even Dawson. What’s the point of having a 42-year-old kicker on a team that isn’t going anywhere? Kickers get hurt from time to time — watch the injury reports, offer him to a contender after their kicker pulls a groin or something, and sign a young kicker off the street.

Staley is probably the only vet with considerable value, but there are a couple of things that would make the 49ers hesitant. Staley, along with NaVorro Bowman, is one of the remaining foundation players and a locker room leader. The 49ers are also woefully thin on offensive tackles (thank you, Anthony Davis). But by the time the 49ers approach relevance once again, Staley will be 34 or 35 (he’s 32 now, as are Bethea and Brooks).

Trading Bethea and Brock would be perfect, because Baalke’s obsession with defensive backs has left some young, talented players standing on the sidelines (players like Jaquiski Tartt and Dontae Johnson come to mind). Maybe Tartt and Johnson are starting-caliber, maybe not. But on a team like this, there’s no excuse not to find out this season. Unfortunately, Bethea and Brock are overpaid and have looked awful in recent weeks.

Brooks could provide some value for a playoff contender that needs an outside linebacker, but he’s a chemistry risk and makes a little too much money as well. If Dorsey can make it back to the field, he’s someone who could add defensive line depth for a team looking to win now.

It’s questionable whether the 49ers can even pull off a single deadline deal, but that’s not the only concern.

With Baalke knowing his job is in jeopardy, do you want him discussing trades with other teams and making these decisions? (And if he knows he’s a short-timer, he probably wouldn’t want to deal veterans for draft picks because he’ll want as many wins as possible on his resume.) Do you want him directing the scouts who travel to college football games every week? (“Pay close attention to players who crumble to the turf on non-contact injuries and grab their knees while writhing in pain.”) Do you want him putting together a preliminary draft board? We’ve already seen how he dealt with Jim Harbaugh; do you want to see what he’s like as a desperate general manager willing to do whatever it takes to maintain his reputation around the league?

Those questions start with “Do you” instead of “Does York” because I don’t understand York’s thought processes. They’re easy to predict, and sometimes that’s fun for the purposes of this website, but this is a time to enact real change. Move away from the Baalke era, where unproductive draft picks are protected, quarterbacks and skill position players are afterthoughts, and the set of skills that creates a good wide receiver is too mysterious to unravel. Let the organization know that Baalke is no longer bulletproof and the status quo is no longer acceptable.

What’s the harm in making Tom Gamble, who was promoted to Assistant GM before the season, the interim GM for the rest of the season? There’s a chance he’ll end up getting the job anyway, since the Yorks prefer to promote from within. If they don’t like his contributions, open up a legitimate search in January (unlike the one that led to Baalke getting the job after Scot McCloughan left).

After all that shakes out, we’ll get to determine next year whether the 49ers have a quarterback around whom they can build, and whether or not Chip Kelly and his staff know what they’re doing. But those are open questions. We know Baalke is not the answer, so there’s no point in delaying the inevitable. Unless York still believes in him … in which case, buckle up — because more 5-11 seasons are on the way.

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50 Comments on "The time is now to fire Trent Baalke"

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willfleet
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willfleet

BASportsGuy The best time to fire him would’ve been before he ran off a highly successful head coach

Bleed_Red_Gold
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Bleed_Red_Gold

BASportsGuy I couldn’t agree more. Get him out of here before he scouts for more Torn ACLs or Potential Felons.

skeets2086
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skeets2086

BASportsGuy please

Lime
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Lime

Should’ve hired Kyle Shanahan as head coach…he’s transformed Atlanta’s offense into a juggernaut! Of course they do have top notch players unlike the Niners

RichLucido
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RichLucido

BASportsGuy York doesn’t even know where to start looking for the next guy.

jdeciutiis123
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jdeciutiis123

BASportsGuy Don’t tease

agchee
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agchee

KevinMolina85 Basically all of what we’ve been saying at this point. See Kevin, we occasionally know what we’re talking about. lol

catchjeremy
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catchjeremy

BASportsGuy we need t-shirts made with this tweet.

Coolhandluke_25
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Coolhandluke_25

BASportsGuy He needs to go now so a new GM can set a draft board from college. A guy who gets hired in January is working off Baalke scouts

Giants49ersLove
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Giants49ersLove

Why can’t we “Fire York” too?????

JerichoCane135
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JerichoCane135

BASportsGuy JedYork is incompetent he will keep baalke

LeeGodby
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LeeGodby

BASportsGuy good luck! Same regime that thought Jim Tomsula was the right choice would be making the decision on new GM.

49ersFM_
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49ersFM_

Coolhandluke_25
if they fire him now, it will send the wrong message to the team that we given up. Fire baalke when they’re 2-6 or so

Coolhandluke_25
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Coolhandluke_25

49ersFM_ False. It will put everybody on notice that poor performance is unacceptable as a 49er

Beaver
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Beaver

I sadly agree on letting go of Phil Dawson.  It would be really awkward next year asking a 20 year vet to give up his jersey number to Deshaun Watson.

acheney747
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acheney747

BASportsGuy actually the time is way past due. He is just horrendous.

BASportsGuy
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BASportsGuy

let’s see what Facebook thinks https://t.co/DOzItazL7p

GSiggsNFL
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GSiggsNFL

BASportsGuy very well said. JedYork 49ers pls let Gamble take the reins before the trade deadline, thank you

SoCal49ersFan
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SoCal49ersFan

BASportsGuy Backtracked us for many years. We’ll now lose Kap. No QB in sight. ACL picks lost forever.

norcalsport
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norcalsport

BASportsGuy we had it all in the palm of our hand 2 years ago you dumbass JedYork

efrias_85
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efrias_85

BASportsGuy I actually read it but still came to the same conclusion. #firebaalke should be trending like a mf!

pantoja72
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pantoja72
49ersfaithful25
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49ersfaithful25

BASportsGuy Maybe he is JedYork lover boy that’s why he hasn’t been fired yet. Got Dat bomb dome action.

benbaranrees
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benbaranrees

BASportsGuy TRENTS STATS: lowest return on draft picks in the league. #EndBaalke https://t.co/yGvqipfJgW

ninerfan94954
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ninerfan94954

No to Staley, Brooks and Dawson. You have to have some talent on the field or were all those empty seats I saw Thursday night people stuck in the bathroom line.  Bye week is the perfect time period to reset the franchise as well as releasing some of the scouts who have been grading these college prospects.

irishman217
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irishman217

BASportsGuy it’s been the time for about 3 seasons now

irishman217
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irishman217

SoCal49ersFan BASportsGuy kap sucks ass

coredump
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coredump

49ersFM_ Coolhandluke_25  I’m not sure it matters that much.

coredump
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coredump
I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion that lil Jed is going to fire Baalke at season’s end, let alone before that. Granted, yes, that’s what should happen; heck it probably shoulda happened last year along with Tomsula, and _really_ start over.  Sure it’s tough to hire a good football GM *and* a new coach, especially when your franchise is hardly a prized destination spot these days.  But it has been done.  As BASG rightly observes, instead we see the half-measures approach. These are Yorks we’re talking about.  Logic, rationality, and common sense reasoning simply don’t apply.  I wouldn’t be… Read more »
707AllDay
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707AllDay
Seems like the only way to force Jed’s hand is with an all-out smear campaign (there are a few going around these days). Instead of the ‘We want Kaep’ chants the next time we go 0 for 10 on 3rd downs, bust out the ‘Jed (and/or Baalke) you suck’ chant. Bring back the fund me page.. we need more anti-Jed banners flying overhead. Jed seems to be responsive to public shaming.. As for the bye week.. Jed is a coward. No way he faces to media more than once a year. He will deliver his highly sanitized, PR approved speech… Read more »
trackback
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[&#8230 ;] Steve Berman of Bay Area Sports Guy suggested this as the route to take. He wrote: [&#8230 ;]

trackback
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[&#8230 ;] Steve Berman of Bay Area Sports Guy suggested this as the route to take. He wrote: [&#8230 ;]

rkg115
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rkg115

BASportsGuy we saw this coming a mile away, opening press conf he slurped jed hard barely mentioned baalke..got gamble back, total jed hire

Option_Zero
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Option_Zero

BASportsGuy DanFeldmanNBA Tom Gamble bout to be GM

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[&#8230 ;] The time is now to fire Trent Baalke [&#8230 ;]

Mark A
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Mark A

Trent isn’t fired yet because if you do it now,  then lose 9 more, by the end people are mad all over again and push for more change.
It is basic PR to wait until near the end of the season (at least official playoff elimination) before doing that.   And if the replacement really is Savage (already on staff), it is pretty unlikely to make much of a difference whether the move is made now or in December.

coredump
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coredump

@Mark A  Save your scapegoats until the time is right, I guess.  Yeah, I could see it.  And for extra points, leak a bunch of dirt about them (true or not) to your media mouthpieces and other shills towards the end.  It’s the Yorks, after all.

Otis Byrd III
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Otis Byrd III

irishman217 BASportsGuy For real. I don’t know why Jed is stalling on this. Trent Baalke is a failed GM who is afraid to draft and sign free agents. Baalke needed to be fired yesterday!

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[&#8230 ;] The time is now to fire Trent Baalke [&#8230 ;]

acheney747
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acheney747

BASportsGuy Actually the time for that is long past. If there was only a method to fire Jed York also.

seanmatt
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seanmatt

We’re looking up at 5-11.

gordo42
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gordo42

When they won in the 80’s and 90’s, Eddie was the a-hole that got players to step up. Eddie left and the team went down the tubes until Harbaugh, who was also an a-hole that got players to earn their money. They are going to suck until they get another a-hole to run this team.

Tyl49er
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Tyl49er

BASportsGuy ToluThomas can we make it official that it was McCloughan’s players and Harbaugh that made this team great? All gone.

ToluThomas
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ToluThomas

BASportsGuy Solid arguments. But rather than give an int

ToluThomas
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ToluThomas

BASportsGuy Solid arguments. But rather than give an internal guy like Gamble a head start, I hope JY waits for external guy to be avail

BASportsGuy
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BASportsGuy

ToluThomas Gamble already has a head start in my mind.

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[&#8230 ;] The time is now to fire Trent Baalke [&#8230 ;]

semartin1
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semartin1

The Yorks are making a fortune, everything is going as planned. Why would they fire anybody?

mat49er
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mat49er

BASportsGuy it’s not his fault Jed made him hire Chip. We all know that was a Jed hire

mat49er
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mat49er

BASportsGuy no amount of talent would work in Chips simplistic obvious system

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