The 49ers are 2-6 through the first half of the season. They have not been competitive in five of their losses.
As offensive coordinator Geep Chryst pointed out -– verbalizing something that is not often said –- this is the hand they've been dealt.
That is not exactly a glowing review of the personnel department in filling the vacancies -- some expected, some not expected -- that emerged since the end of last season.
Certainly, the coaches -- Jim Tomsula, Eric Mangini and Chryst, at the top of the list -- have not done a good job, either. And the players bear responsibility. After all, how many players have actually played at a high level?
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick became the first starting player to lose his job. On Sunday, Blaine Gabbert will make his first start with the 49ers, as the organization is grasping for answers at this point.
There are more questions surrounding this organization than ever. Let’s answer some questions that were posted on our Facebook page:
What do you see happening with Kaepernick after this season? If 49ers release/trade him, how will it affect either side mentally & especially monetary? (Diane Spiteri)
Kaepernick is scheduled next season to earn $14.3 million in base salary and bonuses. Tomsula might have described Gabbert as the starting quarterback for just this week, but this decision has huge implications for the future. A $14.3 million quarterback does not get benched for Blaine Gabbert at any point, plain and simple.
Right now, the odds are long that Kaepernick will be back with the 49ers next season. It’s unlikely they’ll find a trade partner to take on his $14.3 million salary, so it’s expected they’ll have no other choice but to release him before the April 1 deadline for his $11.9 million salary becoming fully guaranteed.
The move would save the 49ers approximately $9.4 million on the salary cap next season. It would also signal a shift that it’s back to 2005 for the organization. That's when the 49ers entered the draft without a quarterback of the future, ultimately opting for Alex Smith with the No. 1 overall pick. If the season keeps going in the direction it’s heading, the 49ers might again have their pick of any quarterback in the draft.
Nobody with the 49ers was talking about a full rebuilding before the season because they had a veteran quarterback with Kaepernick. Next year, the rebuilding movement would take full shape.
Does Jed York actually trust and believe that Trent Baalke is the right GM to get the organization back where they want to be? (Douglas Maybush)
What kind of offseason does the front office envision having, since the answer to winning games isn't with or on this roster. Will the lean more on free agents or draft? (Master Singh)
The 49ers could have around $60 million in cap space, as well as 12 projected draft picks. But nine of those projected picks are after the third round.
Let’s put it this way: Trent Baalke believes he’ll be back as general manager or he probably would not have been so quick to trade tight end Vernon Davis for draft compensation over the next two years.
The 49ers had a roster over the past four seasons that was generally considered among the best in the NFL. But, now, it’s a lot closer to the bottom, in terms of talent level. It’s possible York gives Baalke the full benefit of the doubt because of where this roster was previous to this season.
The 49ers got nothing from the 2012 draft, and that hurt the organization a lot. A player or two from that draft, ideally, should be starting and already signed to a second contract. The 49ers have not added a significant skill player in the draft for a while. It's believed York still thinks highly of Baalke -- but we don't know that for certain.
Regardless of who is calling the shots, this next offseason is important because the 49ers can spend a lot of money in free agency and they cannot afford to miss in the draft.
Will we see Kilgore back after the bye week or are we not in a rush to hurry him back? (Jose Jacklyn Escoto)
Center Daniel Kilgore will likely be cleared to begin practicing the week after the bye. Then, he’ll be allowed to have three weeks of practices before the 49ers must make a decision. There is no rush, in the sense that they do not want to bring him back if he’s not ready. My best guess is he’ll have an opportunity to suit up for the Nov. 29 game against the Arizona Cardinals.