Harbaugh-49ers drama enters final act
As every passing week seems to bring the San Francisco 49ers to a new low in this chaotic season, it appears more and more likely that head coach Jim Harbaugh‘s tenure with the team will be coming to a close.
Following the 49ers’ collapse to the San Diego Chargers Sunday, this parting of ways has apparently become imminent. FOX Sports 1’s Jay Glazer reported San Francisco will announce the move as early as 24 to 48 hours after the end of the season.
Questions about Harbaugh’s job security have reached a new fervor recently, leaving many to speculate about where the coach will end up. Everyone, that is, except Jim Harbaugh.
On Monday, Harbaugh would neither confirm or deny reports regarding his dismissal, giving his usual tight-lipped response to issues revolving around speculation:
“As you know, I have not participated in any of the speculation, the unnamed sources, the rumors. I would ask you to have Jay Glazer go back and ask for his source for more clarification. But, I haven’t participated and I don’t intend to now. This has been a good 12 months of this kind of thing, so no reason to start now.”
Harbaugh has one year left on his 5-year, $25-million contract he signed in 2011, but a decision by CEO Jed York to cut ties with the coach could make Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals Harbaugh’s last as a 49er.
The 49ers 2014 season has been a disappointment to both fans and the organization. After signing on in 2011, Harbaugh led the 49ers to three NFC championship games and one Super Bowl, notching a 43-18 record.
However, Harbaugh appears to be leaving San Francisco on a sour note, as the current 7-7 record assures the team their first season without a winning record under his command.
On Monday, Harbaugh opted to relish in what may be his final moments with the team instead of dwelling on any negatives:
“We know this is going to be the last week of the season and I’m going to enjoy them. I’m going to enjoy all the players, enjoy the coaches, enjoy the staff, enjoy all the people in the building that I really love and enjoy being around.”
Harbaugh was to said to have fallen out of favor with the 49ers front office after rumors of tension between he and general manager Trent Baalke surfaced before the season.
The coach’s demeanor was also rumored to have divided the locker room as well, as Hall of Famer and current CBS Sports analyst Dion Sanders reported in September that several 49ers players wanted him out as well.
The non-stop reports of dissent has followed Harbaugh all season long, being a dominating topic of conversation during his weekly press conferences. Harbaugh has done his best to quickly stem questions regarding matters, with the coach laughing when asked if he’s ever felt the urge to shoot back at reporters:
“That’s a good question. That’s a very good question… The high road’s the only road I know. I’ll just keep on that one.”
Harbaugh has been heavily linked to the University of Michigan, who has reportedly offered the 49ers coach a lucrative contract to return to college football. Harbaugh has also been rumored as an option for the Oakland Raiders and Chicago Bears.