Word from outgoing 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan has begun trickling out at a faster pace.
Sirius Radio's Adam Schein quotes McCloughan as saying "family needs to come first and I lost sight of that with my position at the 49ers." This is the first specific reference to the vaguely described "personal" issues underlying McCloughan's reported demise. A Sirius producer confirmed the accuracy of the quote and provided a separate copy via e-mail.
The first thing I did upon reading Matt Maiocco's initial report Wednesday night was to contact McCloughan to ask if he was all right. He said he was fine. The second thing I did was search through public records to see if there might be another potential issue. Records showed a divorce pending. Sad, I thought, but lots of people go through divorces without resigning or otherwise leaving their jobs. It wasn't necessarily pertinent, and knowing that the McCloughans have three young kids served as a reminder that such information should be handled with care. The pending divorce deserves public mention now that McCloughan is acknowledging losing sight of family.
There are many other questions left unanswered. It's unclear to what degree, if any, family matters might be a cause or merely a symptom of McCloughan's current professional predicament. We'll probably learn more as time passes. The 49ers are still not commenting.
McCloughan also reached out Friday on football matters, telling Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News that the 49ers would win the next couple division titles with players he drafted. McCloughan also referred to his 49ers tenure in the past tense. As expected, any "leave of absence" he was taking had more to do with buying time to manage his departure.
I put out a call to McCloughan before publishing this item, figuring correctly that he would not answer, but wanting to give him a chance to speak.
"I will be back in the league at some point and be very successful," McCloughan told Schein.