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Report: Former 49ers GM Trent Baalke hired by the NFL

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Report: Former 49ers GM Trent Baalke hired by the NFL

Trent Baalke is back and this time, he's working with the National Football League itself. 

According to ESPN, the NFL has hired the former 49ers general manager as a Football Operations Consultant. 

As a consultant and advisor, Baalke will work on game-related matters, player development and evaluation and officiating video review -- this from the same report. 

Baalke served as the 49ers’ GM since January 2011 after one season working in that role as vice president of player personnel following Scot McCloughan’s departure from the organization prior to the 2010 draft.

He was fired on January 1, 2017 and replaced by John Lynch. He had been with the organization since 2005.  

Baalke was named the 2011 NFL Executive of the Year for his role in helping the 49ers turn from a 6-10 team under Mike Singletary to a 13-3 record and an appearance in the NFC Championship game under Harbaugh.

But after mutually parting way with Harbaugh, the 49ers went 7-25.

'The Catch II' makes 49ers' top plays in franchise history: No. 15-11

'The Catch II' makes 49ers' top plays in franchise history: No. 15-11

Editor's note: This week, we'll be counting down the top 20 plays in 49ers franchise history. This installment will rank plays No. 15-11. Be sure to tune into "Super Bowl Week in America" every night this week on NBC Sports Network and streaming here.

The 49ers have played 70 seasons in the National Football League after four seasons (1946 to ‘49) in the All-America Football Conference.

As the 49ers prepare for the organization’s 75th season, it gives us reason to look back on the top plays in franchise history.

It’s subjective, of course. We tried to take into account historical significance, so a play that happens in the postseason is weighted in a way that reflects that. But some great plays simply stand on their own, regardless of when it occurred.

[RELATED: 49ers' top plays -- No. 20-16]

What follows is a list of the top 20 plays in 49ers history, with five plays unveiled each day from Tuesday to Friday:

CLICK FOR PLAYS No. 15-11

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

49ers' Richard Sherman: Drew Brees 'beyond lost' on kneeling comments

49ers' Richard Sherman: Drew Brees 'beyond lost' on kneeling comments

Richard Sherman joined a large group of NFL players angered and saddened by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees saying he still believes kneeling during the national anthem is "disrespecting the flag" on Wednesday. 

The 49ers star cornerback called Brees "beyond lost" and made it clear the peaceful protest never had anything to do with going against the military. 

"I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America, or our country," Brees said to Yahoo! Finance. "Let me just tell you what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played or when I look at the flag of the United States. I envision my two grandfathers who fought for this country during World War II. One in the Army and one in the Marine corps both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place. 

"So every time I stand with my hand over my heart, looking at that flag and singing the national anthem, that's what I think about. And in many cases, it brings me to tears thinking about all those who have sacrificed -- not just those in the military, but for that matter, those fought in the '60s and all that has been endured by so many people up until this point. 

"Is everything right with our country right now? No, it's not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart is it shows unity. It shows we are all in this together, we can all do better and that we are all part of the solution."

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Sherman recently spoke to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer about the importance of white quarterbacks speaking up right now regarding racism and police brutality in America after George Floyd, an African American man in Minneapolis, was killed last week in police custody. 

“I’m impressed with the white QBs speaking up because those are voices that carry different weight than the black voices for some people,” Sherman said to Breer. “Which means the people who refuse to listen to a black athlete’s perspective will hear the same thing said from a white athlete, but receive the message much differently. So it’s awesome that more people are speaking out, because in sports, you really have a love and appreciation for your fellow man, regardless of race.

“And I think that’s what makes sports and teams so special, because a lot of the stereotypes are torn down. You really get to know one another, not judge based off nonsense.”

[RELATED: Poole: Brees reveals he's part of problem, not solution]

Colin Kaepernick became the first athlete to kneel during the national anthem as a protest against racial and social injustices in the 2016 season when the quarterback still was a member of the 49ers. Kaepernick first sat on the bench during his protest, but after speaking with Nate Boyer, a former Green Beret who spent time with the Seattle Seahawks as a long snapper, the two agreed kneeling would be more productive.

Boyer supported Kaepernick's decision and stood by him while Kaepernick kneeled before a game in San Diego.

Kaepernick has not been signed by an NFL team since opting out of his 49ers contract ahead of the 2017 offseason, and general manager John Lynch also said in May 2017 the 49ers told the six-year NFL veteran they would release him if he didn't opt out of his contract.