SBD/Issue 131/Franchises

49ers Reportedly Tap Baalke To Lead Team's NFL Draft Decisions

49ers Say Dir Of Player Personnel Trent Baalke
Will Lead Them At Draft Next Month

49ers Dir of Player Personnel Trent Baalke "will lead" the team at next month's NFL Draft following the departure of GM Scot McCloughan, according to a source cited by ESPN's Adam Schefter. Baalke has a "strong reputation around the league and many expect that San Francisco will be able to march on successfully." Meanwhile, Schefter wrote the 49ers and McCloughan must "figure out a resolution as to their current situation before any other issues can be addressed" (ESPN.com, 3/20). McCloughan Friday, "in his first public acknowledgment of the personal problems that apparently fueled his departure," said in a text message to Sirius Radio's Adam Schein, "Family needs to come first and I lost sight of that with my position at the 49ers. I will be back in [the] league at some point and be very successful" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 3/20). ESPN.com's Mike Sando noted that public records "showed a divorce pending" for McCloughan. Sando: "Sad, I thought, but lots of people go through divorces without resigning or otherwise leaving their jobs" (ESPN.com, 3/19).

TIME NOT ON OUR SIDE: In Sacramento, Matthew Barrows wrote the team's "once-trumpeted front office is in a state of flux at an inopportune time." The NFL Draft is "five weeks away," while the team's plans for a Santa Clara stadium "hinge on a June ballot measure." Barrows wrote 49ers Exec VP/Football & Business Operations Paraag Marathe is "poised to land a more prominent role" with McCloughan out of the mix. Marathe is the team's "main contract negotiator, and he has gained the Yorks' trust by managing the team's once out-of-control salary cap." Team sources said that Marathe is "smart and ambitious" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 3/20). San Jose Mercury News' Mark Purdy: "The 49ers do need to say something. For one thing, they are trying to get a stadium issue passed in Santa Clara. For another thing, you have got the draft coming up and their season ticket renewals are out." The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat's Lowell Cohn said, "The timing is horrible. You can't say that enough. Five weeks before the draft, all of a sudden the general manager is gone" ("Chronicle Live," Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, 3/19).

FALLING INTO DYSFUNCTION: YAHOO SPORTS' Michael Silver wrote the Raiders "aren't the Bay Area's only dysfunctional, tone-deaf NFL franchise." 49ers President Jed York "has gone radio silent at a time when his fan base deserves an explanation," and "not only is Jed York's silence an insult to the people who follow the team, but it's also an unduly harsh blow to McCloughan." Silver: "One thing of which we can be fairly certain was that McCloughan wasn't dismissed because of performance-related issues." Meanwhile, there is "suspicion among those in the McCloughan camp -- and other sources familiar with the team's front-office politics -- that Paraag Marathe ... pushed for the move as an attempt to gain more power." Marathe is "close with Jed York and is regarded as the team president's No. 1 confidante in the organization." But given the "high regard for McCloughan around the NFL," his departure from the 49ers is "not regarded as a positive development for the organization" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/19).

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