San Francisco 49ers  

 

Niners GM Trent Baalke says he's been fired; is Chip Kelly next?

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The 49ers will play the Seahawks on Sunday, and when they are done it will conclude another frustrating, disappointing season. In the first year under coach Chip Kelly, they went backward.

And now, San Francisco faces an offseason of change with the goal of returning the organization to the upper echelon spot it has held so often in the league's history.

Trent Baalke told KNBR-AM in San Francisco on Sunday afternoon that he has been fired from his position of general manager of the 49ers.

"It didn't surprise me," Baalke said. "We've done some awful good things. Some very successful seasons. Unfortunately regret we weren't able to bring a championship to the Bay Area, which they so deserve. I think The Faithful has been great. Wish this organization nothing but the best moving forward. I do see a bright future for them."

Owner Jed York and the 49ers' key decision-makers are also expected to replace Kelly, multiple sources say. A full house-cleaning is described as "likely" by several people with knowledge of the situation.

After the 49ers loss to the Seahawks on Sunday, Kelly told the media he and York would meet after the game.

"I didn't learn when Trent Baalke was fired," Kelly said. "I was just called (Saturday) night after some of the reports and Jed talked to me and said we would talk today."

When asked about the tone of the conversation, Kelly said "it was a normal conversation."

The 49ers have not had to replace a coach and GM since 2005 when they hired Mike Nolan and Scot McCloughan.

With the move, the 49ers are poised to now go one-and-done with their coach two years in a row. It means they will owe more than $30 million in coaches salaries. But as one source explains, that's not as important as building a winning franchise again.

York told local reporters he'll address them when the season ends. By that time, he'll be ready to sit down and discuss a search for two new faces of his team.

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.

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