Jim Harbaugh has been the subject of rumors, reports and speculation that say he is unhappy with the San Francisco 49ers and wants more money and power from the team. There has been a lot of speculation that he might even leave the team. But Harbaugh says there is “zero” chance that happens in the next two years.
Speaking with Sports Illustrated’s Michael Rosenberg, Harbaugh denied that he will leave the Niners before his contract expires, denied that he has a problem or doesn’t speak with GM Trent Baalke, denied that he wants to be the highest-paid coach in football and denied that he wants more power.
Here’s what Harbaugh told Rosenberg when asked about his chances of leaving the Niners before his contract is up.
“No,” Harbaugh said. “Zero opportunity or chance of that in my mind.”
“I see all these reports about how I want to be the highest-paid coach in football,” Harbaugh said. “They presume I covet some kind of extension. I have never said to anybody that I want to be the highest-paid coach in football. I have never said that to anybody — my wife, my brother, my dad. I make plenty of money.
“The other one is that I want more power. I have never said that, nor do I want any more power than I have. I coach the team. I’ve told my owner I don’t want any more power. I want to coach the team. And I’ve never told anybody else otherwise,” Harbaugh told SI.
Harbaugh also told Rosenberg that he has no problem with the leadership structure on the team, one that sees Baalke have final say on all personnel decisions. He refused to say he wanted a contract extension, instead deflecting towards one of his staff members — Vic Fangio — whom he believes deserves a new deal. But what was one other big takeaway? Harbaugh said he won’t negotiate a contract through the press. It’s that quote that tells me we shouldn’t really believe all that he says.
If Harbaugh does not want to negotiate through the press, then that means he’s not going to tell the truth to the press — or at leas the full truth. I do believe that he entertained the idea of going to the Cleveland Browns and that he wants to be paid more by the 49ers. He probably lets some of this stuff happen for leverage. If the fans freak out and people like John Madden say the Niners need to choose Harbaugh over Baalke if it comes down to that, that gives Harbaugh more leverage in negotiations. This is all just a tactical game.
Harbaugh would be foolish to leave the Niners, and the team would be even dumber to let him go.Google+