SANTA CLARA – General manager Trent Baalke, who led the searches that resulted in Jim Harbaugh and Jim Tomsula as the 49ers’ head coaches, will get his third chance after the team's firing of Tomsula on Sunday night.
“We’re going to go about this and do our due diligence, that’s for sure,” Baalke said on Monday. “I think experience in anything matters. I think you learn from everything you do. And sometimes you’re going to make the right decision. And sometimes you’re going to make the wrong decision. And I’ve done both.
“We hired Jim Harbaugh and we hired Jim Tomsula. Some would say that one was a strong hit and the other was a miss. That’s the game we’re in. You’re going to make mistakes. If you learn from them, that’s what you hope to do.”
Baalke said he has not started the process of interviewing candidates for the job. He said there is nobody currently on the staff that the 49ers are considering for the coaching vacancy. Sean Payton, currently the New Orleans Saints' head coach, Cincinnati offensive coordinator Hue Jackson and former Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly are the three names most-associated with the 49ers' vacancy through the first day of the vacancy.
Tomsula became just the eighth NFL coach to be fired after one season since 2000. But Baalke admitted that he shares the blame due to the state of the 49ers' roster.
“When you’re 5-11, it’s not all coaching, right? It’s a team effort,” Baalke said. “We got to this point for various reasons, and we can once again point to this guy retiring or that guy retiring . . . There are no excuses. It is what it is. We know, and I personally know, what we need to do moving forward. And there are things we need to do better.
“When you look at the roster, we’ve got work to do. There’s no question about that. The good thing is we have the ammunition to do that. We’re sitting in a very good situation, relative to cap and cash, for this offseason.”
Baalke is signed as 49ers general manager through the 2018 season, CSNBayArea.com learned on Monday. Baalke said he will work with the new head coach in making personnel decisions in the offseason.
The NFL salary cap is expected to leap as much as $10 million next season to $153 million per team. The 49ers have $113.28 million devoted to next year’s salaries, according to the NFLPA’s official database. The 49ers also have a projected 12 draft picks, including their first-round selection at No. 7 overall.
“So we have the ability to do some things this offseason that we haven’t been able to do (in previous offseasons),” Baalke said.
“The important thing we got to do right now is get the head coach in place and follow that by getting the coaching staff in place. And once we get those pieces together, then myself and the head coach and the rest of the staff can sit down and evaluate the roster and evaluate every player and determine who we’re moving forward with.”