Jacksonville Jaguars officially hire Trent Baalke as new general manager

San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke on January 20, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke on January 20, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars have hired Trent Baalke as their new general manager.

Trent Baalke joined the Jacksonville Jaguars organization in February of 2020 as the Director of Pro Personnel. He was promoted to interim general manager in November following the Jaguar’s firing of Dave Caldwell after the team suffered their 10th straight loss of the season. The team has now announced they have hired him on a permanent basis.

The Jaguars had a range of options for their newly open general manager position in Jerry Reese, Louis Riddick, Rick Smith, and Ray Farmer, but owner Shad Khan ultimately decided to hire from within. The new hire comes a week after the Jaguars hired Urban Meyer out of retirement to be their sixth official full-time head coach of the franchise.

Baalke previously spent time as the general manager of the San Francisco 49ers from 2011 and 2016 and was credited with helping transform the franchise from a 6-10 record to a 13-3 record within his first season. Baalke also helped lead the 49ers to win two divisional titles, three playoff berths, three NFC Conference Championships, and a Super Bowl appearance.

Some of the most notable players drafted under Baalke were defensive end Aldon Smith, defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, quarterback Colin Kaepernick, safety Eric Reid, and offensive tackle Trenton Brown.

How can Trent Baalke help the Jaguars?

Plenty of fans aren’t too excited about this hiring but Baalke does have a pretty good track record from his time in San Francisco. If Khan lets off the reigns a bit and lets Baalke have more say in roster decisions, then maybe the Jaguars can finally get back into 2017 shape when they appeared in the AFC Conference Championship. Of course, that’s if Khan is willing to let go of the roster a little bit and put his full trust in Baalke and Meyer.

When Urban Meyer was hired as the new head coach, it was implied that he would get some say or insight into who the new general manager would be. Khan wouldn’t have hired Baalke if he and Meyer were far apart on how to change the culture of this franchise.

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It will be riveting to see how Meyer and Baalke come together to get this team back on track. With the Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback, Philip Rivers retiring, the Tennessee Titans losing their offensive coordinator, and the Houston Texans who are just a complete mess, the Jaguars have a chance at the division title in 2021.