NFL

Report: 49ers Plan To Fire Chip Kelly and Trent Baalke

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Chip Kelly, we hardly knew ya.  ESPN is reporting that the San Francisco 49ers are about to fire not only the team’s head coach, but general manager Trent Baalke as well.

This seems like a case of throwing out the baby with the dirty bath water as Kelly took over a terrible roster and although he didn’t do much with it, he didn’t have the requisite tools in place to field a winner, or even something mediocre.

Kelly signed a four-year contract in the offseason and although it doesn’t seem all that fair for him, he will be compensated justly as he will receive an $18 million parachute.

The real question will be if Kelly will ever get another NFL head coaching job.

His overall record of 28-34 isn’t awful compared to Gus Bradley standards, especially when you consider his 2-13 record in San Francisco this year.  Unfortunately, Kelly was either out of his depth as a personnel evaluator or as an X’s and O’s guy, as his teams in Philadelphia regressed the more that he put his stamp on the team.  His “fast break” type of offense has proven to be unsustainable, as he wore his own defenses out in the midst of their success.

With all of the major college positions already filled, you can expect to see Kelly on a television set next fall while he waits for the right opening.

It may have behooved Kelly to wait for another opportunity rather than hitch his wagons to Baalke, who entered the season on an extremely hot seat.

Baalke was given the title of General Manager in 2011 and promptly took the 49ers to a pair of NFC title games and a Super Bowl in the first three years.

Well, Baalke and head coach Jim Harbaugh.

After the two butted heads, the 49ers have simply been a dumpster fire and now they have one of the worst rosters in the NFL.

Baalke has had the unique opportunity to hire three head coaches, and the only constant since Harbaugh left is that he will have a last place football team.

There hasn’t been much of a return from his drafts since the 2011 season, and 2014 second-round pick Carlos Hyde is the only selection that looks like he could be an impact player, when healthy.  San Francisco has seen multiple players retire prematurely under his watch (Patrick Willis, Chris Borland, Anthony Davis), and perhaps his best draft pick, Aldon Smith, has been suspended multiple times before being waived by the team before last season.

“Funding has never been an issue at the free-agent market or any other thing that we’ve needed,” Baalke said. “So, it falls strictly on my shoulders. I’m disappointed, I’m disappointed with the outcome up until now.

“I feel bad for the fans. I feel bad for a lot of people, the ownership in particular,” Baalke said. “You know, they give us everything we need, and I’ve said that. I’ve gone public with that. If we don’t get it done, put it on me. We’ve got all the resources necessary.”

After that statement, the 49ers were left with no choice but to fire Baalke, and although Kelly didn’t have much of a chance, it was going to be rare to find a new GM to work with him.

At least San Francisco is going to have a very high draft pick to actually start over with and they’ll be able to get rid of a few of the “bad apples” that Baalke harbored.  It’s a long way up, but if the team across the Bay in Oakland can go from perennial losers to first place in the NFL’s toughest division, it’s certainly possible in San Francisco.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.