The Jaguars didn’t waste time ending their Urban Meyer experiment this season, dismissing the former Ohio State coach after just 13 games. But they won’t undergo a total overhaul this offseason, specifically atop the front office. General manager Trent Baalke will return to his post in 2022, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. Not only that, but the former 49ers GM will be directly involved with team owner Shad Khan in hiring Meyer’s replacement.
Baalke, 57, has been with the Jaguars since 2020, when he was hired as director of player personnel. He rose to interim GM duties after the dismissal of David Caldwell in November of his first season in Jacksonville, then permanently took over as GM after Meyer joined the franchise in January 2021. He’s set to “report directly to Shad Khan and work in sync with the new coach” in 2022, Rapoport reported Monday.
Baalke has found mixed results as a front-office executive. He’s perhaps best known for his decade-long run with the 49ers, starting as a scout (2005-2007) and eventually becoming GM in 2011, San Francisco’s first season with Jim Harbaugh as head coach. The 49ers advanced to the Super Bowl in Baalke’s second year atop the front office, and he earned PWFA Executive of the Year honors for his role in returning San Francisco to title contention.
Since 2012, however, Baalke’s teams have gone a combined 17-51 with him as GM. The Jaguars went just 1-15 in 2020, going 0-5 after he took over for Caldwell. They’ve gone 2-13 in 2021, with two games left to play.