Dec. 29, 201049ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEOMindi Bach
SANTA CLARA -- The speculation that vice president of player personnel Trent Baalke will become the 49ers' next general manager reached a crescendo after NFL analyst Mike Lombardi declared They are going to hire Trent Baalke after he himself interviewed for the position.
The statement may technically be Lombardis opinion, but a well-placed source confirmed to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area on Wednesday that, yes, Baalke is the guy.
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Team president Jed York told colleague Matt Maiocco that he and Baalke will sit down for a formal interview for the position, possibly this Saturday. But Baalke has been in a working interview ever since he assumed many of the general manager duties following Scot McCloughan's departure in March. Baalke, York and the Paraag Marathe, executive vice president of football and business operations, are said to have a strong working relationship.
Its not difficult to connect the dots. York admires the way in which Thomas Dimitroff has turned things around in Atlanta.
Before becoming the Falcons general manager, Dimitroff was a scout with the Patriots for six seasons. Baalke broke into the league as a scout in 1998, joining the 49ers as a Western Regional Scout in 2005.
Dimitroff is known as a skilled evaluator of talent. Baalke is seen as the same. Both often worked together on the road. Both share the same agent. York also told Maiocco he will seek the insight of Bill Parcells regarding the position. Baalke got his start with the Jets under Parcells' tutelage.
MAIOCCO: Talking with Parcells a good move
Lombardi predicted Baalke will be named the GM in the next 48 hours. That timeline may be off, but regardless of when, I was told the Baalke hire will happen.
As far as a head coach, the 49ers are indeed interested in Stanford's Jim Harbaugh, mainly for his ability to develop a quarterback. He is also said to be a "good collaborator" who can "put his ego aside."
Those phrases are big buzz words for York. The unknown is Harbaugh's interest in joining the 49ers and if he and Baalke have enough common ground to work together. If York is true to his word and the next general manager has the complete authority to hire the next head coach, it would be Baalke's call.