49ers GM Scot McCloughan Stepping Down? What Does This Mean For The Draft?

Pacifica Slug@azovrkzContributor IMarch 18, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Head coach Mike Singletary of the San Francisco 49ers watches drills on the field during the NFL Scouting Combine presented by Under Armour at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images

What is going on in 49er land?

Weeks away from the most important draft in recent years, with the team on the cusp of ending its playoff drought, the GM is stepping down.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat is reporting that Scot McCloughan is considering stepping down and that his business records have been relocated from his office.

There is only a couple of reasons that I could think of that would cause this type of sudden break:  Health concerns, or pending police blotter reports.

It has been some time since the 49ers made negative headlines in the front office (search for bad examples of training videos), so I am going to go with health concerns as my guess on this. Anything else just doesn't make sense unless there is real upheaval as to the direction the draft is going to take.

According to Matt Maiocco, Jed York returned directly to the Bay Area from London, where he was preparing for the 49ers trip next year.  Several key personnel were also in attendance.

There is speculation on who will lead the draft in McCloughan's absence.  If this move is related to the direction of the draft, I see this working out one way, that is an assistant stepping in to follow Singletary's direction.

If this is something else, we may see Paraag Marathe step in and run the draft until a suitable replacement is found.  This also could be leading to an expansion of Singletary's responsibilities as head coach and GM.

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According to the SF Examiner, Scot McCloughan's agent has denied that Scot is resigning as GM of the 49ers.  Although his agent did not quell the rumors of changes being made.

This is looking like some internal strife regarding the direction of the draft and who is making the final decisions.

****Update II****

Tim Kawakami at the San Jose Mercury News is reporting that McCoughan is leaving for a non-football related reason.  His former duties are already being doled out to other front office staff.

****Update III****

Dan White of SFGATE.com is today reporting that McCloughan is being let go by the 49ers because of personal issues that not related to football.

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