Report: Trent Baalke to Be Retained as Jaguars GM; Will Be Involved in HC Search

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 28, 2021

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - JULY 29: General Manager Trent Baalke of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks on during Training Camp at TIAA Bank Field on July 29, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke will be back with the team for the 2022 NFL season, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Rapoport reported Baalke "will continue to report to [team owner Shad] Khan and work in sync with the new head coach." He'll also offer his input in Jacksonville's coaching search.

Urban Meyer didn't make it a full season as the Jaguars' head coach, getting fired by the franchise on Dec. 16. Many wondered the extent to which Khan would want to wipe the slate clean heading into next year.

Jacksonville hired Baalke as its director of player personnel in February 2020 and replaced Dave Caldwell as GM that November.

Meyer deserves plenty of blame for Jacksonville's 2-13 record. He was ill equipped to coach in the NFL, and the Jags seemed to bounce from one source of drama to the next throughout his brief tenure. 

Baalke has his fingerprints on the state of the organization as well, leaving some to wonder whether he should be charged with remaking the roster and helping to target the next head coach.

Mark Long @APMarkLong

Jaguars keeping Trent Baalke is another awful decision by Shad Khan. He hasn’t made many good decisions and worked behind the scenes to get rid of Dave Caldwell, Doug Marrone and Urban Meyer (even though all three doomed themselves). <br><br>Would think this affects the HC search.

Mark Long @APMarkLong

No one worth a damn should want the Jaguars HC job with GM Trent Baalke staying in place (of course someone will take it because it’s one of 32 and people are desperate). <br><br>Seriously, how hard is it to ask around and get the real story on a guy with a horrible NFL reputation?

The 57-year-old's reputation precedes him as well.

The San Francisco 49ers won the NFC crown in 2012 and reached the conference title game in 2011 and 2013 with Baalke as GM. By 2016, though, they became a two-win team moving on to a fourth head coach in as many years.

Baalke fell out with head coach Jim Harbaugh and provided steadily diminishing returns in terms of personnel moves.

The arrivals of Meyer and Trevor Lawrence were supposed to signal a new era for the Jaguars. Instead, Meyer is gone and Lawrence has thrown for 3,225 yards, nine touchdowns and a league-worst 14 interceptions.

The Jags can write off one bad season, but getting Lawrence's development back on track and strengthening his supporting cast are vital objectives.

By retaining Baalke, Jacksonville is at risk of repeating the same mistakes and having to once again hit the reset button in short order.