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Baalke Discusses 2012 Offseason

Posted by Alex Espinoza on March 6, 2012 – 5:05 PM

Entrenched in his second offseason as the 49ers general manager, Trent Baalke is keeping an open mind when it comes to improving the team. Last year, Baalke proved to be a pivotal figure in turning the franchise around, as he and first-year coach Jim Harbaugh helped lead the 49ers to a 14 wins and the doorstep of the Super Bowl.

Speaking with KNBR on Tuesday afternoon, the NFL’s reigning Executive of the Year said he had instant chemistry with Harbaugh and that he felt good about the progress made in his first year on the job. Baalke and his staff signed key free agents like kicker David Akers, center Jonathan Goodwin and safety Donte Whitner in 2011, just to name a few, while putting together a deep, quality draft class.

“It was a group effort,” Baalke said. “We felt going in that we had a plan that we felt very good about. Jim and I had both talked about it many times. We were patient and patience does pay off in this business.”

As for this offseason, Baalke has been a busy man. He’s already re-signed linebacker Ahmad Brooks and safety C.J. Spillman, placed the franchise tag on safety Dashon Goldson and made a trip to Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine.

With the franchise-tag deadline over, the 2012 free-agent class has taken shape and is set to hit the open market on March 13. Listening to Baalke, it seems the 49ers front office will consider all avenues of improvement.

“We’re always trying to improve the roster,” Baalke said. “That’s something we’re committed to. If there’s a move that we can make – whether it’s picking up some guys off the street, whether it’s signing some free agents from other teams, or going after a restricted free agent, drafting – nothing’s off limits. We’re willing to do whatever it takes to make this team as strong as we can make it.”

Baalke also reiterated the notion that the 49ers would like to keep as many members from last year’s team around in 2012, or as Harbaugh said, “(We) want to keep the band together.” Namely, Baalke addressed the current contract negotiations with free-agents quarterback Alex Smith and cornerback Carlos Rogers.

“We’re working very hard on it, like we are with all of our free agents” Baalke said. “I hate to sound like a broken record, but Alex is an important part of it, Carlos is an important part of it. … We’re trying our best to put together our best package to keep as many of them as we can.”

Thanks to the hard work of the 49ers front office, Baalke has another bargaining chip to bring to the table when speaking with potential free-agent targets: a new stadium. With the make-ready construction work already underway across the street from team headquarters in Santa Clara, the 49ers are hopeful 2014 is their first season in the new Santa Clara Stadium.

“All of that works to our advantage,” Baalke said. “When you have a new stadium, you’ve had a little success on the field, you have the type of players that we have, the type of coaches that we have – all of that plays into the decision of others.”

Amidst the tumultuous nature of the NFL offseason, one thing is for sure:  Baalke won’t be resting on his laurels. Despite his stellar rookie season as a GM, he knows the road back to the NFC Championship game will be much tougher in 2012.

“We’ve had success, but it’s one year,” Baalke said. “The success you had in the past doesn’t mean it’s going to happen in the future. Each year you’ve got to try to get a little bit better.”

Click here to listen to Baalke’s interview


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Posted in Announcements | 45 Comments »


45 Responses to “Baalke Discusses 2012 Offseason”

  1. By True Niner Fan on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    Trent Baalke, thank you for all your hard work and trying to keep the band together. We can only get better with a full off season. Vincent Jackson would look great in Red and Gold.
    Niners to the top baby! ! ! !

  2. By 1FaithfullFan on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    Great Job Trent.
    Vincent or Mike Wallace would be nice additions. Is there any thought to speaking with Manning since he will officially be on the market? Alex did a great job at not making too many mistakes last year. However his touch beyond 20 yards needs improvement…especially if we bring in a high profile receiver with the rep for getting down the field for the big play.

  3. By egastelum on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    Trent i put all of my faith in yours and coaches decision making moving forward. I know you guy will do your best to bring home a championship to our team. There is some good tallent out there and I know you will find,,,,I look foward to 2012, I know it will be harder this year, but I also know we have Mighty Men willing to do whatever it takes to win…Good luck with the draft, free agencies, or just men off the streets…49erforlife!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. By Robert Naipo on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    Since the early days of 1979 when the Debartolo family brought the 49ers till the present we’ve always had one of the best front offices in the league. From Carmen Policy and now Trent Baalke we again have a competent executive who will make all the right decisions regarding the 49ers and their return to glory. It’s been an awful long dry spell and the future is starting to look bright again in the city by the bay.

  5. By JEO25 on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    Baalke,

    Sign Manning to 3 year deal with Kapernick as back up for long term.

    Give up a 1st round draft pick and sign Mike Wallace.

    You do that you win the Superbowl

  6. By david on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    49ers 2012-2013 seasons schedules

    1.home at rams
    2.away at packers
    3.home at giants
    4.away at patriots
    5.away at jets
    6.home at lions
    7.home at seahawks
    8.bye
    9. away at rams
    10.home at bills
    11.away at vikings
    12.away at saints
    13.home at cardinals
    14.away at seahawks
    15.home at bears
    16.home at dolphins
    17.away at cardinals

  7. By Lloyd on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    Let alex go… Let Keap take over, we have JH he will motivate. 9ers did not trade up for nothing to get Keap, it’s his time to see if he is the guy. 18touchdowns is not enough to land us in New Orleans.

  8. By Michael D. Hall on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    Get Alex signed! Go NIners! Oorah!!!!!!!

  9. By Michael D. Hall on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    “Fangio’s Marauders Saddle up!!!!” Sign Carlos! DE-FENCE!!! DE-FENCE!!! DE-FENCE!!!49ers Oorah!!!!!!!

  10. By Jamy Thompson on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    Gret job last year finding the right fit and chemistry with a very shortened time to do so. No onw at the beginning of the year thought the 9ers would do anything and that clearly changed due to your hard work. I trust whatever you do will be great goig forward but PLEASE make a run after Peyton Manning. Alex Smith is great but Peyton Manning is Peyton Manning and he can get us to the top.

    Thanks again for all your hard work and the FANTASTIC JOB you did last year!!!!

  11. By Jeremiah on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    David, there is no way you know the schedule yet. The NFL does not release that until the week before the draft. Those are the opponents, but definately NOT the correct order or week

  12. By Chris Green on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    PLEASE SIGN PEYTON MANNING PLEASE!!!! THEN SIGN MIKE WALACE PLEASE!!!! THAT WILL BRING IN ATLEAST TWO SUPER BOWLS ONE WE CAN PLAY IN AT OUN 49ERS STADIUM

  13. By Sally Staley on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    Whats so hard about Alex’s re negoition. He took a cut in pay to stay with you guys and now I suppose he wants that back plus proving himself. Whats so hard with that negotion. Give him a good deal…He now deserves it…

  14. By Josh Evans on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    How could you not consider signing Manning he would be the perfect teacher for whom ever needs to be the long term prospect for the Niners, Alex Smith no disrespect to him had what 1 first down in the NFC Champion game, Vernon Davis’s, Micheal’s and Gin’s numbers would double and the defense coulld get some rest making them even greater threat, I just dont see how the Niner’s being in such a perfect position not pick him up and if he goes to Arizona the Niners can forget about winning the division for the next 3 years great defense or not, Manning is a team by himself, this would be the biggest mistake for a proud franchise to make with such perfect circumstances.

    GO GET MANNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. By 49er Mike on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    Trent, must sign Carlos, and LBS etc… spend the money.. WE have Rodgers, Brees, Cam, Buffalo qb, lions qb, top rated qbs, and some potent offenses.. We need to scores points, Get our receivers in camp early with Alex, we must be more potent, and better rout runners. Must get JR help something. One catch by a receiver in a playoff game, not the 9ER WAY!! WE WANT TO BE 6-0 IN THE DANCE!!!

  16. By time2speakup on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    Pleased beyond words is the only way I can put it. So very impressed with Jed York, his decisions, and all things 49ers. The curtain is going up – and I cannot wait to see Trent Baalke’s encore performance. I personallly think it will get a standing O throughout the year. We Niner Fans are very blessed.

  17. By Jeff Watson on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    I believe we should pursue Peyton Manning…Alex Smith should be the safety valve if Peyton signs elsewhere…But Peyton would drastically improve our offense and take tons of pressure off the running game…Also, I think we should pursue Marques Colston…Allow Crabtree to be the #2 guy, have Josh Morgan in the slot, and Colston as the go-to-guy…But yes, I believe we should attempt to re-sign Carlos Rogers as well and keep the D as intact as possible…Go Niner!

  18. By Jeremiah on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    So let me get this straight jeff watson ^^^, you want us to sign, manning, colston, carlos rogers, and somehow keep our defense in tact? yeah… that sounds likely. I’m so sick of idiots! be lucky if we get one, and I promise it wont be the 35 year old QB

  19. By Dick Fitzener on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    Pu a contract out on that crackhead Dexter Manley

  20. By tiger on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    all this peyton talk needs to stop he is old news and just getting older and there is no garrantee he is going to make the niners better if he was still that good indy would keep him. we dont need a QB we need better WR’s alex cant throw down field if no one is there to throw to and they are a run first team which is not peyton’s game

  21. By cliq-claq on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    all this QB talk ….. what about the play calling …. too many times i saw my niners try to run on 3rd and medium situations only to end up punting…. we cant blame everything on alex…. he can only run the plays that are being called….. maybe things might change if manning were there, i would like to see CK learn from manning for a couple of yrs

  22. By JasonInRenoNV on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    I think that the probability of the 49ers signing Peyton Manning is about the same as Jim Harbaugh being fired next week.

    The 49ers are into PLAYER DEVELOPMENT, and they do it extremely well. You know I have a big soft spot in my heart for Colin Kaepernick since I am from Reno Nevada, but there is a reason why they traded up to get him……PLAYER DEVELOPMENT. Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke most likely felt that they could DEVELOP Mr. Kaepernick into a truly elite QB.

    I hope that Peyton joins either the Seahawks or the Cardinals so that our amazing defense can make him see RED and GOLD stars dancing around his head while he lies motionless on the turf, 2 times next season, home and away. Aldon, Justin, Patrick and Navarro will clean his clock!!!

  23. By JasonInRenoNV on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    David, where did you get this schedule? I am calling BS on that.

  24. By Texgun19 on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    I heard Alex Smith’s Agent is wanting 30-50M and that’s too much for a one-year wonder. Sign Carlos Rogers and let Alex go. Sign Josh Johnson and this guy will be a sleeper. He already knows harbaugh’s System and would shine. Also, sign Garcon and/ro Wayne for additional weaposn. Face it, Smith had a better season, but it is time to part ways. He played liek the old Alex in the NFC Championship, connecting with only 1 Wide Receiver.Time to cut ties with Alex Smith and pick up either Manning or Johnson.

    Alex Smith = One Year Wonder.

  25. By messiah on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    Everyone talks about the cohesiveness of the team as a whole these past few years. Now while I understand it is very unlikely the Niners want to pursue Manning, I cannot state the following enough. Unless Manning is still showing residual signs of his injury, he should be heavily considered. If this team really believes in this coach and this franchise like they supposedly say they do, then why not consider picking up Manning and one big play receiver (of the many on the market right now)? We did pick up Kaepernick for a reason though right, to be the supposed ‘future’ of the franchise? What aspiring ‘great’ QB wouldn’t want to sit behind Manning for a few years over Smith (and no offense to you partner, you did great this past year). I mean, you signed Smith to a 1 year, and Manning becomes available? I felt like the clouds parted and the light shone through. I hope this ‘dream’ team can work on an agreement to all be together in the most equitable way possible. It may be a pipe dream, but let me hope.

  26. By Daniel on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    Dont resign alex. sure he had a good season but we have had him around way too long for only one good season. get Peyton. if we were to have peyton, sky’s the limit on how good we could become. maybe if we had peyton the offence wouldn’t be an issue anymore? who know.

  27. By tyler on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    hey niners fans just wait till next year the hawks are gonna reclaim what has been theres for the last 10 years the NFC WEST TITLE!!!!!!!!

  28. By MCast11 on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    It would be foolish not to go after Manning…Yeah he’s aging, but he’s still Peyton Manning. The WR issue would go away with him under center. He can/will make our receiver’s better.

    Manning = No more red zone issues, no more WR issues, less pressure on the running game, less pressure on the D, and a much better chance at multiple SB’s.

  29. By davy, belfast. northern ireland on Mar 8, 2012 | Reply

    well for the first time in a long time, the off season is actually interesting for us niner fans. with so much wr talent out there, i personally feel like a kid in the sweet shop. i just hope the powers get the player that be the right fit for us. i think alex has always been a work in progress, but his loyality, fortitude and performance last season should secure him a new contract. plus the fact hes only 28 with many more seasons ahead of him. mannings been a great player but hes a short term option for any team. the niners dont need a short term fix, we need to build for the future. i think alex would have had to won the superbowl last year for the desenters to be quiet. he took us the the west title and the nfc championship game. if someone would have offered me that at the beginning of last season i would have bitten their arm off and taken that. we are back and for everyone else in the league that means adding to the five. niner till i die.

  30. By Troy Cottrell on Mar 8, 2012 | Reply

    Starting Offense
    QB-Alex Smith-27
    Qb-Colin Kaepernick-24
    RB-Frank Gore-28
    Rb-Kendall Hunter-23
    FB-Delanie Walker-27
    WR-Michael Crabtree-24
    WR-Josh Morgan-26
    WR-Stephen Hill (1st Rd. Pick)-22
    TE-Vernon Davis-28
    LT-Joe Staley-27
    Lt-Alex Boone-24
    LG-Mike Iupati-24
    Lg-Daniel Kilgore-23
    C-Nick Hardwick (FA Signing) 30
    c-Chase Beeler
    RG-Carl Hicks (FA Signing) 26
    RG-Mike Pearson-23
    RT-Anthony Davis-22

    Starting Defense
    LDE-Justin Smith-32
    lde-Ray McDonald-27
    NT-Pat Sims (FA Signing)-26
    nt-Isaac Spoaga-30
    RDE-Kendall Langford (FA Signing)-26
    rde-
    LOLB-Ahmad Brooks-27
    lolb-
    MLB-Patrick Willis-27
    MLB-NaVorro Bowman-23
    mlb-
    ROLB-Aldon Smith-22
    rolb-
    LCB-Brandon Carr (FA Signing) 26
    lcb-Chris Culliver-23
    RCB-Eric Wright (FA Signing) 26
    rcb- Tarell Brown-27
    FS-Deshon Goldson-27
    fs-Reggie Smith-25
    SS-Donte Whitner-26
    ss-Cj Spillman-25

  31. By TJ on Mar 8, 2012 | Reply

    I hope the 49ers bring Alex back..he has earned his spot as the starting QB. The most important thing for the offence this off season is for the wide receivers spend enough time with the Qb practicing and work on timing routes. Crab tree must put the time and effort on the practice field . We should get Josh Morgan back and with the addition of one more wide receiver our offense will flourish this in 2012.

    The wide receivers must spend enough time practicing and believing in each other and believing in their QB.

    Everyone thought Kolb was the answer in AZ…now everyone wants Manning…You have a very good QB in Alex Smith. He needs a committed wide receiver group to take us to the next level. If the wide receivers play with the same intensity and have the same heart as our TEs we will win the Super Bowl.

    Our D is perfect. I would not change a thing.

    GO TEAM

  32. By crowebar on Mar 8, 2012 | Reply

    PLEASE, Do NOT sign Alex Smith again. The 49ers need a solid QB, not a project for Harbaugh to work on. I trust you to do the right thing and that next year, if there is a #11 on the field, the name on the jersey will NOT be Smith…

  33. By crowebar on Mar 8, 2012 | Reply

    For those who say Manning is a short term option, think about it. Bring Manning in on a 3 year deal, let Kaepernick learn under him, then when Keap takes over he will have had the time learning under one of the best and BE the long term option. We bring Manning in to create our franchise QB. Add Wayne and Garcon to sweeten the deal (which we have cap room for) and it’s a done deal. The 49ers have the 5th most cap space out of any team. Lets USE it!

  34. By crowebar on Mar 8, 2012 | Reply

    @Jeremiah – All but Rogers on our Def is already signed on and we still have over 30mil in cap space. We could easily grab Manning and a couple WR while keeping our Def intact.

  35. By NINERSS ALL DAYYY on Mar 8, 2012 | Reply

    TJ please tell me you did not just compare KOLB to Peyton Manning…..Peyton Manning is the 2nd best QB of all time behind Joe Montana!!!!

  36. By Ladybug on Mar 8, 2012 | Reply

    Well….just a thought…but if Indy did not re-sign Manning…why? What have they seen in his workouts? Must be something, or else they would have signed him back up ….quick as a bunny….but they let him go.

    So why would we want a quarterback that some other team let go? Even if he was one of the best in the past. He’s not physically up to par any more. He’s getting older by the day. The team docs probably have no faith that he can recover full strength in his arm…..AND…if I had a fused neckbones, I would be very tentative playing football.

    NAH we don’t want to touch him with a ten foot pole

  37. By gonnakissdababy on Mar 8, 2012 | Reply

    Peyton Manning!!!!!! Alex Smith will never bring us any Super Bowls.

  38. By Tarcules on Mar 9, 2012 | Reply

    negotiations? alex does not want to go and play for another 6 coaches, his ego will get the best of him. the formula is simple as PM+SF=SB!!!!!

  39. By Tarcules on Mar 9, 2012 | Reply

    We want ALEX?

  40. By Tarcules on Mar 9, 2012 | Reply

    We want Manning?

  41. By johnlucid on Mar 9, 2012 | Reply

    Crowebar makes the most common sense of all.
    Just make sure Garacon or Manningham arrives with Peyton

    Wayne maybe getting a little too old.

  42. By Carlos on Mar 10, 2012 | Reply

    3 Years of Manning wont hurt any team, Alex is a nice guy, but he will always be a nice backup QB. He did not take us to the NFC championship game, our defense did! It is easy to see; people please, think with brains and not with your heart. if Alex is that good, let him get “the great deal” he earned by playing for us… Whatever!

  43. By NINERSS ALL DAYYY on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    Ladyybug…The Colts did not let Manning go because they feel he cant play anymore…they let him go because they are drafting what everyone says is a cant miss prospect in Andrew Luck….They are hoping he is the next great QB in the league….they need the money they are saving from letting manning go to invest in Luck.

  44. By NINERSS ALL DAYYY on Mar 12, 2012 | Reply

    Carlos I could not have said it any better buddy!!!! But the sad truth is that Smith is not going anywhere I think all of us are relying on False hope of have Manning in a Niner Uniform.

  45. By Kyle on Mar 15, 2012 | Reply

    Good job on the Randy Moss/Carlos Rodgers deal. Now to get Alex Smith signed and to look into CB Tracy Porter or CB Ladarius Webb also WR’s Mario Manningham and Brandon Llyod.

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