In line with an earlier report, the San Francisco 49ers have announced that Trent Baalke has been promoted from within to general manager. His previous title was vice president of player personnel, and throughout the 2010 season he was viewed as the interim general manager by most.
Officially, the general manager search went on for eight days and suffered through all manner of scrutiny. At times it was nonexistent, a sham to lead-on the fan base and this was considered a very bad thing for the head coaching search. At times it was diligent, with several candidates around the league. Now it's hard to tell just how in-depth or legitimate the search was, but in the hours leading up to the announcement, it did seem as though former GM and current NFL Network announcer Michael Lombardi did become a more serious candidate, though conflicting reports say he might not even be a candidate. It's hard to tell at this point.
Either way, Trent Baalke is the guy as he enters his fourteenth year in the league and now the 49ers will concentrate on the head coach search. Their eyes are on Stanford Cardinal coach Jim Harbaugh, and he's viewed as the favorite to take the job by many, many sources. San Francisco reached out to the Raiders and the Giants to interview coordinators Hue Jackson and Perry Fewell, respectively and received permission from both clubs. Jackson was just promoted in Oakland, so if the 49ers were just looking for a Rooney Rule fulfillment, they'll need to go with someone else, or Fewell before they can make the Harbaugh hire.