The San Francisco 49ers made one expected announcement Tuesday night. Is another coming later this week?
The 49ers on Tuesday night announced they have promoted Trent Baalke, who has been their vice president of player personnel, to general manager, an appointment expected for almost a week.
Now he will lead the search for a new head coach.
"Trent has done an exceptional job in his role as vice president of player personnel and throughout his tenure with the 49ers," owner Jed York said in a team-issued statement. "I have had the benefit of watching Trent closely in the recent months and have been very impressed with his knowledge and leadership. I am confident that Trent will find the 49ers an excellent head coach who will lead us to great success in the coming years."
Harbaugh is seeking a deal in the range of what Pete Carroll received from the Seattle Seahawks (averaging more than $6 million a season), according to a league source. One source close to Harbaugh projected the 49ers as the favorites to obtain his services after talks with his alma mater, Michigan, collapsing. The Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos also have been in contact with Harbaugh.
The 49ers on Tuesday received permission to interview Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, and they have asked for permission to talk to New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. They aim to begin those interviews as soon as possible; either would fulfill the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview a minority candidate before appointing a head coach.
NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reported that the 49ers and Jackson were scheduled to have a formal interview Wednesday morning.
If the 49ers are unable to land Harbaugh, former Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick (an NFL analyst for NFL Network and Fox), Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey (a former Buffalo Bills head coach) and Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg (a former Detroit Lions head coach) could be options.
"I would like to thank Jed York and the York family for this tremendous opportunity," Baalke, whom York interviewed extensively Saturday, said in a statement. "It is an honor to be named the general manager of the San Francisco 49ers, a franchise with a history filled by some of the game's greatest players, coaches and executives. I look at this role as one of great responsibility -- to not only the history of the franchise, but also to the 49ers faithful. My entire focus is now dedicated to finding the next head coach of the 49ers."
York insisted last week he would conduct a national search for the GM position but ultimately decided to promote from within. The 49ers had been without a general manager since Scot McCloughan's abrupt departure last March in what York called a "mutual parting."
Baalke was the 49ers' director of player personnel in 2008-09, overseeing the college and pro personnel departments. He first joined the franchise in 2005 as Western Region scout, a position he held through 2007.
In May, Willis received a $50 million, five-year contract extension that takes him through the 2016 season and includes $29 million in guaranteed money. He earns $10 million per season. Davis was rewarded with a five-year deal paying him $37 million overall, with $34 million guaranteed.
His other 2010 draft picks also played significant roles as rookies.
Baalke also worked four years in the scouting department for the Washington Redskins prior to coming to San Francisco and has college coaching experience.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.