Al Sacco on Trent Baalke: “He’s ruined the roster and Kelly doesn’t have the players right now”

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Our own Al Sacco was a guest on 95.7 The Game and discussed a wide range of topics surrounding the San Francisco 49ers. Two topics that he discussed involved the 49ers working on a new contract for Colin Kaepernickand Trent Baalke’s future with the team.

Colin Kaepernick’s Future

“This situation just keeps getting more and more bizarre with these two,” Sacco said regarding the relationship between Kaepernick and the 49ers. “I think at this point, as far as football-wise goes, you have to put Kaepernick on the field and at least see what he has. See what he can do in Chip Kelly’s offense. It’s not working out with Blaine Gabbert. He’s playing terribly right now. He’s missing wide open receivers. He can’t throw the ball downfield. And the offense just isn’t working with him. So you’ve got to get Kap on the field. You’ve got to see what he can do.

“Now, in terms of the contract, I wouldn’t think Kaepernick really wants to be there longterm and I think what they’re doing now with the contract, it allows the 49ers to get out of any commitment with money and they can put him on the field now and not worry about him getting hurt and being locked in to anything next year. And it allows Kaepernick to walk away next year.

“Now, it will be interesting if he goes on the field and he’s lights out. If the 49ers try to keep him around, but maybe the relationship is just to the point where just both parties just eventually want to go their separate ways. But, it couldn’t have been handled any worse and it’s kind of the way the 49ers have done things recently, unfortunately. And it’s going to be interesting to see what they do moving forward. They haven’t named him the starter yet, but it looks that way. But with the Niners, who knows what to expect. They can do this contract and then [Chip] Kelly can come out to the media on Tuesday and say, ‘Christian Ponder‘s starting.’ Why would anyone be surprised at this point, they way it’s gone.

“So, I think Kaepernick should get a shot and we’ll see what happens, but moving forward it’s anyone’s guess.”

Trent Baalke’s Future

“[Jed York] has to let him go and he has to do it at the end of the season,” Sacco said regarding 49ers general manager Trent Baalke. “Doing it now would make no sense. It would be a [public relations] move because what can you really do to improve the team at this point in the year? But he’s got to let him go at the end of the season.

And you’re right, you can’t just Kelly by what he’s done so far because his roster is terrible. And what is interesting to me is that the NFL is a passing league. In 2016, the rules are geared toward passing and arguably two of the most important positions – well, the most important position is quarterback – then you can argue receiver, with the way the rules are, could be the next important. And Trent Baalke has absolutely ignored those two positions. He’s ignored the quarterback. He’s ignored the receiving group to the point where there’s no talent there. Even if you go back to the draft this year, you have Blaine Gabbertin the last year of his deal, Colin Kaepernick who has a year-to-year deal and they were trying to trade him at the time anyway – it didn’t look like he had a longterm future – and you have all of these quarterbacks who were available early on. Even if you look at someone like a Cody Kessler or a Conner Cook. Paxton Lynch was there.

Sacco was reminded that Dak Prescott was also available to the 49ers. “Yeah, definitely. Yeah, absolutely,” he said. “Yeah, Prescott. These guys could have come in and you’ve already seen some of these guys play and they played pretty well. And the Niners just ignored it? They took cornerbacks back-to-back and I know [Rashard] Robinson’s played well, but they needed a quarterback and they ignored it. They needed a receiver and they ignored it. And it’s obvious now when you watch this team that they don’t have the talent there. He ignored the pass rusher this year. He ignored inside linebacker. That was another need.

“Every year, this team gets worse. The more of a stamp he has on this roster, it gets worse and worse and worse. And I think before, you could kind of justify some things. ‘Oh, there are injuries. There are retirements.’ It’s as plain as day right now. What he’s done to the team and the roster. He’s ruined the roster and Kelly doesn’t have the players right now to really compete, which makes it not fair to judge him.

“So York’s going to have to let him go and I’m a firm believer that last year, York didn’t think he was going to get the pushback from the fans that he did with [Jim] Tomsula. And I think the reaction from the fans – banners flying over the field – really pushed his hand with Tomsula. And I think the fanbase is just as angry right now and they want to hit the reset button on the general manager. I think that’s going to happen.”

Sacco also discussed what bright spots that he has seen on the team, the rumor about locker room support of Christian Ponder, and the impact on fans who committed to season tickets – who he says were hit with a “bait and switch” by York.

You can listen to the entire interview on 95.7 The Game.

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