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Jaguars hire Trent Baalke as general manager

Trent Baalke is back atop the personnel department of an NFL team.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to hire Baalke as their general manager, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported Tuesday evening.

The team announced the deal on Thursday morning.

"Trent Baalke has had success at virtually every level of football, notably so as a general manager who shrewdly and quickly built an NFL conference championship organization and team," Jaguars owner Shad Khan said in a statement. "That experience inspired us to recruit Trent to Jacksonville a year ago to serve as our director of player personnel and is one of many reasons why we are naming Trent as the new general manager of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Trent thoroughly knows the NFL and the dynamics of today's game, has an exceptional eye for talent and I know will have excellent chemistry with Head Coach Urban Meyer as they begin their mission to bring a consistent winner to our fans in Jacksonville."

Baalke, 56, has been in Jacksonville for nearly a year, joining the team's front office as director of pro personnel in early February and working under general manager Dave Caldwell. Caldwell was shown the door at the end of November following Jacksonville's 10th straight loss, and the team promoted Baalke to interim general manager to take Caldwell's place.

The interim tag is no more, with Baalke taking over as the team's general manager. The team also parted ways with John Idzik, the team's special assistant to the GM who was brought on to work with Caldwell, Rapoport reported. The former Jets GM is now available for hire following Jacksonville's shift and elimination of front-office personnel.

Baalke will work alongside newly hired head coach Urban Meyer, who owner Shad Khan said last week would be the one determining the vision and blueprint for the Jaguars' roster moving forward, even with Khan maintaining roster control.

The hierarchy is interesting considering how a frayed relationship with Baalke and his organization's head coach led to the downfall of a once-promising San Francisco 49ers squad in the early portion of the last decade.

Baalke's conflict with former 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh led to Harbaugh's departure just one season removed from a Super Bowl appearance, and sent the 49ers into a stretch of four straight losing seasons before returning to prominence in 2019 under GM John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan. Baalke's hiring and firing of Jim Tomsula (5-11 in 2015) and hiring of Chip Kelly (2-14 in 2016) led to his own firing along with Kelly at the end of the 2016 campaign. He didn't work for another NFL team until joining Jacksonville in February.

In the big chair once again, we'll see if Baalke can build a contender alongside another coach making his first leap from major college football to the NFL.

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