There has been a lot of speculation about Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers lately. That he wants more money and power, that he and general manager Trent Baalke don't get along, and that he won't last the remainder of his contract in San Francisco.
During the scouting combine a report surfaced that Harbaugh was almost traded to the Cleveland Browns. That led to multiple publications discussing rifts between him and the team, and most centered around how difficult he is to work with. He hadn't said much about anything since then, but discussed all of the issues to SI.com's MIchael Rosenberg.
And, the main theme was, none of it is true.
Does Harbaugh want more money?
"I'm not trying to get more money for myself," Harbaugh told SI. "But I make plenty of money. I have plenty of security."
But Harbaugh hates Trent Baalke and wants control over player personnel, right?
"No. I've never wanted more power," Harbaugh said. "We have a great organization. Everybody in our organization works their tails off and does a very good job."
What about him and the 49ers splitting before the end of his contract, which runs two more years?
"Zero opportunity or chance of that in my mind," Harbaugh told SI.
Everything sounds pretty keen in San Francisco.
In the interview, Rosenberg wrote that Harbaugh expressed often his love of the 49ers. About the Browns trade, he said there was "never any opportunity" to leave the 49ers. The only thing he really said he wanted during the interview was more money for his assistant coaches, specifically defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.
"If we have the highest-paid assistant coaches in football, the best coaches in football, I strive for that. Guilty as charged there," Harbaugh said.
He said he does talk to Baalke daily, even hourly, and the relationship between the two demanding men is like brothers. He said he has great respect for Baalke. And, again, he has no desire to take Baalke's job.
He also indicated he doesn't worry about an extension, that there's only so much money in the budget for coaches and he gets that.
Basically, everything is perfect with the 49ers and Harbaugh. Nothing to see here.
So what, this was all a big misunderstanding and the 49ers and Harbaugh couldn't be happier with each other? That would discount a lot of reports presumably through many 49ers sources, including pretty specific stories about the two sides discussing an extension before talks fell apart. Maybe Harbaugh's style, which is unquestionably demanding, has led to people inside the organization making leaps in logic about other things.
One thing is clear, however. If it all does fall apart between Harbaugh and the 49ers at some point, we'll look back on the coach's comments to SI and wonder what happened to the pretty picture he painted of the relationship.
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