Report: Harbaugh’s future with 49ers remains uncertain

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Friday’s report from Mike Florio that the Browns and 49ers nearly completed a trade that would have placed current 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh in the same division as his brother was a clear sign that earlier signs of uneasiness in the relationship between Harbaugh and the Niners haven’t gone away completely.

Matt Maiocco of follows up on Florio’s report by adding some insight into the hangups in the contract extension talks in San Francisco. Per Maiocco, the 49ers are not prepared to pay Harbaugh “like a Super Bowl-winning coach” because he hasn’t won the Super Bowl. Harbaugh has taken the 49ers to three straight NFC Championship games, but lost to the Ravens in his only Super Bowl trip.

The 49ers are reportedly offering a short-term deal with lower guarantees than the league’s top echelon of coaches with incentives that would bump Harbaugh up into that tier if he wins a Super Bowl. The team also reportedly gave Harbaugh the right to seek endorsement deals with team sponsors to bump his income closer to desired levels with Harbaugh ultimately taking in an extra $1 million.

As a result, Maiocco reports that Harbaugh’s future with the 49ers remains uncertain even after he decided not to jump to Cleveland earlier this year. Maiocco reports that defensive line coach Jim Tomsula was the likely replacement at head coach if Harbaugh did jump to Cleveland and would presumably be if he leaves the team for some other reason in the near future.

UPDATE 6:42 pm E.T.: In a tweet directed to Florio and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, 49ers CEO Jed York said the report about trade talks with the Browns “isn’t true.”

119 responses to “Report: Harbaugh’s future with 49ers remains uncertain

  1. Wow the guy has done nothing but bring them back to relevance, 3 straight NFC Championship games and they don’t want to pay him top tier coach money?!
    SO DISRESPECTFUL! *Stephen A. Smith voice*

  2. Wow, after a decade of mediocrity this guy shows up and brings you to the championship 3 years in a row and this is how you treat him? As an outsider I’ll say that the 49ers coach is far better than their team.

  3. He seems like a nut at times in press conferences and on the sidelines. I can only assume by all this he’s not any easier to work with in private. He’s done far too well with the 49ers to not have their trust unless he’s just really tough to handle.

  4. Just the fact that his future is uncertain will cause some problems with free agent acquisition. They had better get this squared away soon

  5. Wow SF is really shooting themselves in the foot. Someone should remind them what their record was before Harbaugh arrived, what he did for Alex Smith’s career, and their record with him as head coach. Seriously, NFL teams are making bank, and they want to lowball their coach. They’ll regret this one.

  6. I have no idea if these Browns rumors are true, but I’ve heard for some time that Baalke & Harbaugh don’t have the best relationship. And it’s not surprising that a coach who has success would want to exercise more power in a franchise, creating tension with his GM. I’ve wondered if some of the recent Niner personnel failures in the draft and free agency were because Harbaugh has exercised more power and is behind some of these decisions. Certainly, it was Baalke who built a nice roster with many pieces already in place by the time Harbaugh got there.

  7. Harb hold all the cards here.

    If he leaves he will get a contract as big or bigger than any NFL coach, that’s a fact.

    Also Kap, he will go from being slightly above average to terrible the instant Jim leaves.

  8. I can’t help but believe that Jim Harbaugh is somewhat similar , personality wise , to the coach he played under when he first came into the league — Mike Ditka. While his coaching acumen is undeniable , his blustery style and sideline antics could well shorten his career. I think the Niners front office is handling his situation exactly as it should be handled — very carefully.

  9. Lifestyle people. Harbaugh was never going to that hole Cleveland. He’ll be the head coach of the L.A. Franchise in the future.

  10. Harbaugh takes the 49ers to the Championship game 3 times, winning in 2012 taking the 9ers to the Super Bowl and the owner doesnt want to pay him ?

    OMG…how stupid are the 49er owners?

    …and we thought the Browns ownership was bad…lol

  11. If the 49ers let this guy walk, after what he’s accomplished (albeit no Lombardi), they’ll NEVER live it down.

  12. Honestly, I talk a lot of trash with you guys, but I think Harbs is a great coach. San Francisco needs to lock him up to a long term deal because you are clearly an elite team/organization with him leading the way. And the rivalry between him and Carroll is the best in sports. They compete so hard to beat each other that it makes both teams better.

  13. Singletary was a disaster as coach of the Niners… then they’ve been great ever since Harbaugh took over.

    That would be shocking if they let Harbaugh leave.

    Too bad he didn’t come to the Brownies!

  14. Don’t buy this for a minute. Makes absolutely no sense. Initial report said that in the end, Harbaugh changed his mind, which implies he’s the one who wanted the trade. Yeah, he’s gonna leave a team built to contend for the long haul, as well as his alter ego stud QB and go to Cleveland. He’s not THAT insane.

    Florio’s had it out for Harbaugh since day one. Fine line between journalistic and personal agendas, and Florio’s crossed it… again.

  15. Why in the world would ANY team want to trade for him? The guy has won in San Fran with a team that was built by his predecessors. Drafts under his direction have been mediocre at best.

    Sadly the window in San Fran is closing because the core of his team is getting older, quickly. He needs replacements and/or upgrades in the defensive backfield, interior defensive line, running back, and wide receiver. And I’m not convinced that Kaep is a long term solution at QB.

    Look at the downs played by his starters and compare them to a team like Seattle. San Fran starters play a LOT more snaps and hence by the 4th quarter they are tired. And season to season it wears them out sooner. Their depth just isn’t there and sadly it’s going to start costing them.

    So if Harbaugh’s smart he will move on now, before his tactics catch up to him.

  16. “Harbaugh decided to remain with the 49ers…” Perhaps JH was entertaining the idea of a trade with the Browns in order to leverage his position with the 49ers.

    He’s built a fine team in SF, would he really relocate to Cleveland and roll the dice there?

  17. If he’s privately even one-tenth of the jerk we see on the sidelines every week, I don’t blame them. Who cares what he’s done…it’s how he’s done it that brings his long-term value into question.

  18. Scott McLaughlin built the 49ers and Baalke was his understudy. The 49ers fired McLaughlin and promoted Baalke, McLaughlin then joined Seattle as the Team President and built them into the Super Bowl Champions.

  19. They 49ers gave 5mil a yr annually to Harbs who was a rookie head coach. They don’t have a problem giving top tier money. Trent Baalke always takes forever negotiating any contract so give it time. They’ll get a deal done sooner rather than later

  20. As a Seahawk fan, I scratch my head at the idiocy of the Niner organization, if the bulk of this story is true. Of course I don’t like the Niners and I would the Hawks to beat them as often as they can, but I would like to beat them with our best against their best. They came within inches of beating us on our own turf, and they would have destroyed Denver also. What else does Harbaugh have to do?

    Better question still, who leaked this story?

  21. He has done nothing with the talent Singletary handed him 4 years ago. By far the most talent to work with, Jim Mora could have won 2 rings with that talent. That is the one thing Pete Carroll new coming in to the Seattle Job. If it came down to coaching PC would dominate once he got Bigger, Fast and Stronger! 9ers front office is realizing that too now! Go Hawks!

  22. Is Harbaugh a great coach or was he simply provided with a team filled with great players? I’m thinking that is the difference in opinion between Harbs and ownership. Harbaugh is a loose cannon, so I am grabbing my popcorn.

  23. He is running away from Carroll.

    Talking seriously now, Harbaugh is a top 5 NFL coach, he took a team coming from 10 years of irrelevance and since then, he has averaged 12 wins /season, 3 straight NFC championships and he hasn’t won a Super Bowl for a few details.

    In 2011, he was two Kyle Williams fumbles away from the big game (those fumbles gave 10 points to the Giants, including the game-winning field goal), in 2012, the Niners were stopped a few yards before the endzone after being down 28-6, in 2013, the NFC Championship was decided by one play.

    He has potential to be for the Niners what Belichick is for NE. For instance, he is 12 years younger than Caroll, there will be lots of opportunities of winning, Jim is a long-term answer, after all he has done, letting him go would be more than disrespectful.

  24. Just does not make sense.

    Why would you turn down picks and money in a trade for a coach that you don’t want walking your sidelines? Take what you can get and move on if that is what you want to do, better then just letting him walk for free.

    In the case of John Gruden, everyone knew he was gone. Al Davis, the fans, the media, and even the ten fans in NFLE. Big Al got what he could out of the deal.

  25. Please, please, PLEASE come to the Raiders! No need to move the family, Davis will give you complete control and you can win your SB in Oaktown!

  26. This really can’t be true….Makes no sense……If they entertained an offer from the Browns, that is prudent business and one thing….If they negotiated; quite another. This fellow is a high end coach and will be for a long time. If they don’t extend at the top end of coaching compensation, I would be shocked.

    I hope he remains in SF and with the full confidence of the owners and team. With that said; Go Hawks!

  27. Harbaugh did not build the teams that he got to the NFC title game. He inherited a BOATLOAD of talent.

    Quit playing it off like he pulled a Pete Carroll and started from scrap and got them a Super Bowl win.

  28. WHINEbaugh will not get a super Bowl win as long as he is in Pete Carroll’s division. Pete and Seattle O W N the NFC West. Not surprising the crybaby wants out. If he can’t be top dog, then he wants out. well Pete is top dog and is running the WHINEbaugh out of the division.

  29. Harbaugh to Dallas!
    (only for the entertainment value).
    Would love to see him get in Jerry’s grill the minute ole’ Jerruh tried to call a play down from his suite.

  30. As a 49er fan, I must say not signing Jim would lack all common logic and rationale.

    Do you remember Mile Singletary’s circus??

    Jed York should think back 5 years ago and then think about paying Jim.

  31. This is really cracking me up about how somehow this is turning into “this is how the 49ers treat their coach”. If that were the case and this report is real, HE’D BE IN CLEVELAND.


    Am I the only one who thinks it odd that the 49ers are going into a new building this year with all new revenue streams and all of the sudden an extension for Harbaugh seems like it HAS to get done?

    Does nobody remember the way Harbaugh got the job in the first place? Remember the Miami owner flying in to interview him.

    Harbaugh will use all the leverage he can to get the biggest payday he can.

    Harbaugh will be the coach of the 49ers and he will be the highest paid coach in the NFL. If some team wants to come along and offer 3 1st round picks, I can’t fault the 49ers for listening.

  32. It doesn’t matter whether he signs a long-term contract or not, if he doesn’t start dialing back on those rage-filled tantrums that he throws 25 times each game, he won’t be around to finish out whatever contract he’s under.

  33. regarding the age difference between Harbaugh and Carroll…

    Not sure why anybody would bring it up in the first place..

    But Harbaugh is the one that always seems like he is one step away from a stroke with his histrionics on the sidelines…

  34. As a Seahawks fan just below winning a championship is beating that little baby Harbaugh. It’s a sight to see while we’re kicking his butt. No one is more of a child on the sidelines. Keep Harbaugh in San Fran please!!!

  35. and HERE WE GO!

    it’s true. it’s not true. it’s kind of true! well maybe not, but the details are murky. you know what, here’s another THEORY!

    sports media: where you just hear something and report it. if i were a pro athlete, i would feed the media false reports on a weekly basis just to see them run around like chickens with their head cut off. his head fell off!

  36. So what if he “inherited a BOATLOAD of talent”??? Plenty of coaches can’t do crap with “boatloads of talent” (Todd Haley, Marvin Lewis), while others work miracles with crap FOR talent . Harbaugh is a winner. I’m not a 49er fan. As a matter of fact, I’m an Ohio State alum, and as such I’m a hater of all things *ichigan, of which Harbaugh is one… but this guy has my respect as a leader and a winner. San Francisco’s organization would be stupid, utterly insane, to let Harbaugh go. Coaches like him do not come along all that often. Three NFC title games and a Super Bowl appearance in three years… yet the 49ers are going on the cheap.

  37. Can’t help but notice most negative posts are Hawks fans. As a Rams fan, I want him out of the division as well.

    To those saying Harbaugh inherited a great team and got lucky, get a clue. Where were the 49ers before Harbaugh? The lack of intelligence is astounding.

  38. I HATE the 49ers and love seeing this type of stuff. Nonetheless, Harbaugh is a damn good coach. The 49ers would be crazy to let him go. They should give him more control and get rid of Baalke. If Harbaugh could find his John Schneider, the 49ers would be incredible. Nonetheless, I’ll just sit back with my popcorn and watch this story develop.

  39. As a Seahawks fan, I hope Harbaugh stays in San Francisco.

    Harbaugh is the Peyton Manning of coaches. Every team he coaches gets close, but never wins a championship. Harbaugh’s best year at Stanford resulted in a loss to Oregon, coming in 2nd place in the Pac-10 and watching Oregon get beat up by Auburn in the BCS title game. In the NFL, he got beat by the World Champion Giants in the NFCCG, beat by the World Champion Ravens in the Superbowl, and beat by the World Champion Seahawks in the NFCCG.

    Honestly, if you want a coach who will consistently lose to the champion and come in second place – you can do no better than Harbaugh. He’s done that consistently at every level of the game.

  40. “Harbaugh did not build the teams that he got to the NFC title game. He inherited a BOATLOAD of talent.

    Quit playing it off like he pulled a Pete Carroll and started from scrap and got them a Super Bowl win.”

    harbaugh took underachievers and immediately made them relevant. and if SF had seattle’s PEDs they would have won 3 SBs in a row.

  41. Sounds like a dumb decision Jerry Jones would come up with like his numb nuts decision in getting Jimmy Johnson to leave.

  42. I wonder if Harbaugh is one of those guys who’s message and motivational tactics wear thin in a locker room after a certain time, a time less then most.

    Maybe him and Kaepernick aren’t on the same page long term , and given the contract status of the QB, the 49ers have to choose one or the other this offseason. The fact that there was even consideration of the 49ers trading him has to mean they aren’t going to go to the wall to keep him.

  43. Money rules. How much was Cleveland offering him. It better have been in the $10 million/year range. It’s simple, if you want to be paid like a Super Bowl winning coach then win a Super Bowl.

  44. .

    NFC WEST : Seattle, Arizona, and St Louis are the 49ers divisional opponents. All are on the upswing.

    AFC NORTH : Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati would be the Browns divisional opponents. The Bengals have plateaued. The Ravens and Steelers are going through a retooling.

    The opportunity for long term success is greater in Cleveland than SF.



  45. Harbaugh right now is merely the Andy Reid of thia decade…

    NFC Title games are really, really nice….

    But you’ve got to win those and that other game too…

    Right now

    he’s in the hall of very good.

  46. You knucklers that are trying to credit Harbaugh’s success to inheriting a bunch of great talent need to put down the pipe. Look at where Stanford’s football program was when Harbaugh arrived. He turned them into a BCS power in short order, and they’re still there today. Similar situation with the 49ers, they had sucked HARD for years, through several coaching changes. Harbaugh absolutely was a huge influence in both situations in elevating his teams to elite status, and very quickly. The 49ers are being incredibly foolish here. Pay the man, before he gets insulted to the point that he won’t re-up. He’d have a metric crapload of teams lining up to offer him a contract, you can count on it. Jed is acting like his father here.

  47. Harbaugh may have inherited great talent however he got more out of them than previous coachers. Look how long Alex Smith couldn’t get the job done. He became a franchise Quarterback under Harbough.

  48. Yea.. maybe San Fran might want to learn from their brothers on the other side of the bay.
    I turned in my RAIDERSNATION card when Al Davis got stupid cheap with Jon Gruden and he was delt.
    My EX Raiders have never been the same.
    I was rooting for Tampa Bay and Jon during the Super Bowl.
    GREAT NFL head coaches are way underpaid com paired to the players they coach.

  49. San Francisco 5
    Seattle 1

    If Harbaugh is dumb enough to leave David Shaw will be the Niners coach in 5 minutes

  50. I remember the owner of Jacksonville saying at the time that the biggest regret he has was letting Tom Coughlin go. Pay the man, remember the Nolan- Singletary era, how did that work out.

  51. harbaugh to indianapolis to coach andrew luck again and play against seattle in the superbowl.

  52. As a Seahawks fan, I don’t want him going anyway. Those two coaches are what make the best rivalry in football great. Sf don’t let him go please. Once again… It’s Cleveland

  53. Harbaugh is a fraud, the guy inherites a team with pro bowlers all over the O and D lines and tons of talent.

    how many starters on the 9ers are guys Harbaugh has drafted?

    I wish he would go to the browns so i can laugh when he falls flat on his face because he would have to actually start from scratch.

    most over rated coach ever, the dude is good for one thing. looking like the biggest bitch ever on the sideline crying to the refs, thats it.

  54. I like big butts and I can not lie
    You other brothers can’t deny
    That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist
    And a round thing in your face
    You get sprung, wanna pull out your tough
    ‘Cause you notice that butt was stuffed
    Deep in the jeans she’s wearing
    I’m hooked and I can’t stop staring
    Oh baby, I wanna get with you
    And take your picture
    My homeboys tried to warn me
    But that butt you got makes me so horny

  55. And, in the NFC West, look out for the Cardinals who are on the rise after beating Seattle in their own house, handing Russell Wilson the worst game of his professional career, It would pay the 9ers to settle with Harbaugh fast and not play chicken in a division ripe with some major competition! Bruce Arians is ready to make his bones and a newbie coach at this point makes no sense.
    That being said, this sounds like pure bunk trumped up to get reads. C’mon man!

  56. It is hard to wrap my head around why Harbaugh would want to go to Cleveland. Especially, after the Browns would lose draft picks in the trade. The Browns seem like a hot mess after all the off season firings.

    I don’t understand why Harbaugh isn’t valued more by SF. It is smart that they have a succession plan, but why would you want to lose a coach that has turned things around. Unless, the red a**ed coach has truly worn out his welcome.

  57. Peaked in ’12….4th in ’14… Kap signing Flacco extension final nail in the coffin… Harbaugh flees…Baalke fired…start the clown music.

  58. Love how some people say he won’t go to Cleveland because of “the lifestyle” he has in San Fran,First off Nfl head coaches barely have lives to begin with outside of football and secondly he could end up making more money in Cleveland

  59. It looks as if the Gruden curse has drifted west over the bay has found a new home in ninerville and has changed it’s name to Harbaugh.

    Niner fans get ready for 10 years of second guessing, numerous coaching changes, first round draft picks that for some reason forget how to play football and of course, all other NFL enthusiasts constantly reminding you of how stupidly you screwed it all up by letting the fire and soul of your team vanish…with nothing in return. At least the Gruden trade yielded us 2 first round picks in back to back years.

    He’s as good as gone. It’s starting to unravel quickly for the niners. Even if he returns, he’s done.

    And so like the San Diego Chokers another window is closing on opportunity…Thank you both for participating…


  60. Give Belichick/McCarthy/Sean Payton/Tomlin that loaded/never injured team and they’d win an actual superbowl(or three) with that squad.

  61. It seems likely that this deal was conceptualized by Cleveland and Frisco shot it down. Meaning it is a non story. Harb is still coaching Frisco right now and at the end of the day, there’s not much legs on this table.

    As much as I’d like our opponents south of us to take a blow and lose some of their competitiveness, I don’t think their organization would do this.

    Go Hawks

  62. Are you kidding? The Defense is what is making Jim and Colin look great.

    Trade them both and get a 3 time Super Bowl Coach as in Mike Holmgren, who can run an offense and is mature and would be coming home.

    No Holmgren as coach of the Packers, no Brett Favre as an elite QB.

    It was Mike Holmgren who made Favre, and even took the Seattle Seahawks to their first Super Bowl.

    With Mike as coach, the 49ers just need an average QB -that Holmgren can mold into a all pro.

    Time to get rid of the dog and pony show of Jim and Tattoo Boy, who pouts and only cares about endorsements, plus the his gimmick playbook is running out of time.

    The sideshow must end, and the 49ers can go back to being the class of the NFL.

  63. I am puzzled by this report. Why would a franchise even entertain the idea of getting rid of a coach who has brought them back to NFC relevance? Love him or hate him, Harbaugh is what helps keep that franchise together. And he’s a great competitor for the NFC as a whole. Why spoil a good thing?

  64. For once, I’m glad it’s not my Vikings being the center of a dramatic situation! I’ll take my chances with Mike Zimmer and watch the Harbaugh/49’ers situation from afar! Nice drama though … the NFL entertains me year round.

  65. Yea, play hardball on salary with the best coach you’ve had since the Walsh era to save a few pennies. Looks like Jedd learned from his father very well.

    He’s gone 49er fans, jsut ask your friends across the Bay how it works out when these stories start coming out. They denied, denied, denied too, and then woke up one day in February following that year to see their best coach since the Madden era had been traded to Tampa.

  66. As a Hawk fan I hope he doesn’t leave the 49ers. I love the rivalry, and it would be great to keep this going.

    Harbaugh is a great coach – no one should play down his abilities. Going to NFC champ game 3 years in row means something.

  67. Belichick and Payton are the only active coaches I would rather have than him. 49er’s need to have their ego checked.

    Believe me, everyone in the NFL (besides 49er fans) want him out…… they can make a run at him. I am guessing there are about 20 teams that would strongly consider canning their coach if they could get him.

  68. Us seahawk fans are loving the disarray this is causing niner brass, and leaving niner fans dumbfounded! Until the story finally ends with the signing of Cowher, Parcells or Gruden.

  69. is everyone forgetting jimmy haslam has cleaned house in the front office and his HC twice in the last 2 years, and the fact the feds are still investigating his truck stop business? would anyone with 1/2 a brain go to work for this guy? hate on harbaugh all you want, but he ain’t that stupid? mort and florio are not known for being great sources of breaking nfl news. mort hasn’t been a relevant “investigator” in years, if ever. now if glazer or schefter report it, I’m listening. but until then this is just BS. but I’m sure harbaugh will be able to use it to get more $$$ out of SF.

  70. What the hell is with my Niners???? Pay Harbaugh what it takes and give him the control of personnel. The guy has earned it and is vastly more important to the team than Baalke. If they can’t get along, then Baalke has to go.

  71. Never underestimate the idiocy of a multi millionaire business owner… isn’t smart,intelligent,or learned…it’s just rich….winning takes much more than an ability to make money, and winning isn’t only about making money,and making money is their one trick pony….

  72. LOL. What’s up with all the clueless people on here not giving Jim any credit? He’s done nothing and took over a talented team? Ummm….how many wins did that “talented” team have before Jim arrived? How did Nolan do with that talented team? What about Singletary? While I can’t stand Jim and think he’s a total D Bag, I won’t deny he’s molded the 49ers into a top tier team. How anyone can say otherwise is baffling.

  73. Hey panther pro sf knocked you guys out. Why don’t you stop acting like the Seahawks and 49ers little brothers, and leave these posts to the grown ups that don’t call names. The niners don’t need your help fighting their battles with the Seahawks.

  74. Jim Harbaugh = Andy Reid

    Know this – Andy Reid got to 4 straight NFC championship games including a loss in a Super Bowl. Very similar to Jimmy, huh Niners fans?

    Now, Pete Carrol is a champion on every level he’s coached…

  75. Where there is smoke there is usually a fire developing. It was Dec. 18, 2013 or thereabouts that it was rumored that Harbaugh was taking a college coaching job @ Texas.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see him leave. His time is running out @ SF as the team is aging and will need a rehaul & I don’t think 49ers have rep. for developing players.

    Anyway it will be fun watching the drama play out.

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