It’s hard to imagine a football team having a worse season, top-to-bottom, than the 2015 San Francisco 49ers. Things stayed messy last night, with various reports stating that team president Paraag Marathe is being shuffled off to a lesser role within the organization, a move that will apparently take away all of his decision-making powers.
This is a big deal for a few reasons, one of them being that Marathe has always been owner Jed York’s right-hand man, as the Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami points out. Then there’s the matter of why Marathe is suddenly being demoted, and many reporters around the team believe the move has something to do with anti-Colin Kaepernick stories that were leaked to national reporters this season. From Kawakami:
An NFL source told me tonight that Marathe was being deposed as president in part because he is believed to be the source of many recent leaks to national reporters, most notably the reports discrediting Colin Kaepernick.
The 49ers’ leaky front office has been a source of drama throughout the season. Head coach Jim Tomsula didn’t want to believe the stories about Kaepernick were coming from inside the building, and York even had to make a public denial that he was the source of the leaks. If Marathe really was the source on those stories, it might explain the alleged rift that has been created between him and Tomsula:
Then again, as CSN Bay Area’s Ray Ratto points out, it’s hard to believe that Marathe would be so bold as to leak negative stories to the media without first getting York’s permission. Perhaps this is a case of York ferreting out a rat and Tomsula winning a power struggle, or maybe York was just looking for a convenient scapegoat. Either way, you can probably count on the 49ers to continue being dysfunctional.