York: Niners were "prepared" for McCloughan exit

The San Francisco 49ers finally broke their silence on the abrupt departure of general manager Scot McCloughan from the organization last Wednesday.

Team president Jed York had a nifty explanation for the five days it took for him to address the matter too. He said he gave McCloughan his word he wouldn’t speak about the situation for, you guessed it, five days.

Finally, this evening he took part in a conference call and shed some light on what happened, but said the events that led to McCloughan’s departure were a private matter. That is understanable. Some of the other comments were difficult to explain.

“This is in the mutual interest of both parties,” York said according to the thorough blog by Matt Maiocco at the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. “The 49ers have been prepared for this event. Trent Baalke, our director of player personnel will take over and will lead the draft going forward. He'll be the point person in the draft. He will be assisted by (director of pro personnel) Tom Gamble, who I feel very comfortable can step up and add a lot to this process.

"I gave Scot my word that I would not comment on this for five days. . . . because my integrity is more important to me than trying to get out a story. I have Scot five days to think about where we wanted to go. And we decided to have a mutual parting."

York professed confidence in Baalke to lead the team through a critical draft in which the Niners have two first-round draft picks – 13th and 17th overall.

"We've been prepared for this,” York said. “I wanted to make sure Trent was up to speed as possible. He's taken on more responsibility in the past. I'm confident he can lead us."

That’s where it gets interesting. The Niners have been “prepared for this?” Does that mean a situation was building with McCloughan over a period of time and York was putting into place measures to carry the team into the future without the GM? Interesting.

York said he was not certain if he will hire a general manager to replace McCloughan, saying that the focus right now will remain on the draft. He wished McCloughan all the best, and said he cannot work for another team until after the draft. McCloughan has expressed a desire to continue working in the NFL.

Some questions were answered, but if the Niners were preparing for this, as York suggests, then how does he not know at this point if a replacement GM will be hired? Must not have been very thorough planning that was going on. One would think York would have been a little more prepared after five days to get ready for the presser.

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