The San Francisco 49ers are cranking up a full-blown reboot of the organization, announcing that Chip Kelly has been fired after just a single year with the team.
Kelly's ouster comes with the previously known -- because he told a radio station -- firing of GM Trent Baalke. Niners president Jed York announced both moves on Sunday evening in a lengthy statement.
"I have informed Trent and Chip of my decision to pursue new leadership for our football team," said York. "These types of conversations are never easy, especially when they involve people you respect personally and professionally.
"Trent gave this organization every ounce of effort he had over the last 12 years and his contributions were integral to the team reaching three straight NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl. I will forever be grateful for his dedication to the 49ers, and his friendship to me and my family. I wish Trent, Beth and their daughters the very best in whatever the future holds for their family.
"Chip has my gratitude for the job he did this year, navigating the team through some adverse circumstances. I look forward to watching his career continue to unfold, and wish him and Jill great success in life.
"Despite my feelings for Trent and Chip, I felt the decision to change our football leadership was absolutely necessary. The performance of this team has not lived up to my expectations or those of our fans, and that is truly disappointing. We all expected to see this team progress and develop as the season went on, but unfortunately that did not happen. That is why now is the time to find a new direction for this team."
The 49ers have been, to be perfectly frank, a disaster since firing Jim Harbaugh two years ago. Jim Tomsula took over for a season but was fired after one bad year. Kelly replaced him this season and was also fired after a single season.
That puts the Niners in rare -- and not good -- company with themselves, as no NFL team has fired a head coach after single seasons in back-to-back years since the Niners also did that in 1976 and 1977.
If there's any consolation, the 49ers hired Bill Walsh after that.
The problem is the roster isn't in good shape. When Harbaugh was there, the 49ers were a loaded franchise, featuring enough talent to trade away Alex Smith and start Colin Kaepernick. Early retirements, free agency and general roster attrition, along with a failure to make good draft picks, has left the 49ers' cupboard bare.
It's probably unfair to Kelly to pin it on him, but he took a job with a bad team and an impatient fan base playing in a brand new stadium that was being shepherded by a GM on the hot seat. Hiring a GM and forcing him to work with Kelly is a dangerous situation, and it would have limited the quality of the interested candidates.
Additionally, it's not as if Kelly's offensive prowess cranked up the 49ers offense. Kaepernick did look better for stretches of the season, but the 49ers finished 29th in yards and 27th in points. They were 24th in offensive DVOA at Football Outsiders coming into Week 17.