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Jim Harbaugh Top Head Coaching Candidate For San Francisco 49ers? Trent Baalke Lock For General Manager?

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The reliable Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that the San Francisco 49ers search for a general manager is really a smoke screen to hire Jed York's man within San Francisco's front office, the current Vice President of Player Personnel. Interviewing Tony Softli was the first step, since it allowed the Niners to comply with the Rooney Rule. Then they'll interview a bunch of candidates that aren't as qualified or hardly impressive enough to displace Baalke. For a franchise that seems to be trying to upgrade their image of not being a merry band of cronies, this seems like a step in the wrong direction.

However, it does lead to another interesting piece of news, since it seems to confirm one half of the juicy piece of news tweeted by Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated. Trotter said that knowledgeable people in the league told him that Baalke would definitely be the next general manager ... but also that Stanford Cardinal head coach Jim Harbaugh would be York's main candidate, not Jon Gruden. That should excite 49ers fans plenty, since it is an unorthodox move. But on the other hand, Mike Singletary and Mike Nolan were unorthodox moves too...