Harbaugh says there’s no chance he’ll leave San Francisco in the next two years


Many league and media insiders believe that, if the 49ers and coach Jim Harbaugh don’t work out a long-term extension this offseason, Harbaugh could be gone after the 2014 campaign ends.

Harbaugh isn’t among those who believe that.

Zero opportunity or chance of that in my mind,” Harbaugh told Michael Rosenberg of SI.com regarding the possibility that he’ll leave during the final two years of his five-year contract.

“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.”

Of course, what Harbaugh has said and how he has behaved are two different things.  If the widespread reports of tension between Harbaugh and G.M. Trent Baalke regarding personnel issues are accurate, Harbaugh’s role in that tension necessarily conveys that he’d prefer to have his way more often.  More power would allow that to happen.

As to Harbaugh’s salary, it’s a given that he wants a raise.  A significant one.  No one has reported he wants to be the highest-paid coach; Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area recently reported that Harbaugh wants to be paid like a Super Bowl-winning coach.  Some believe Harbaugh wants to increase his pay from $5 million per year to $6.5 million per year, which definitely would not make him the highest-paid coach in the NFL.

Actually, it wouldn’t even make him the highest-paid coach in his immediate family.

In assessing Harbaugh’s words, let’s also keep in mind the fact that football coaches don’t always tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  Success in football often flows from successfully deceiving the opponent, and many coaches extend on-field ruses like the zone blitz and the play-action pass to other strategic issues that directly or indirectly relate, no matter how tenuously, to overall football interests.

For example, Harbaugh insisted two years ago that the 49ers weren’t pursuing Peyton Manning but merely “evaluating” him, in an obvious effort to bolster the confidence of former starting quarterback Alex Smith.  Then, after reports emerged of the near trade to Cleveland, Harbaugh drew a line in the far side of the sandbox, claiming he “know[s] nothing” about the possiblity, a day before Browns owner Jimmy Haslam admitted there was an “opportunity” to acquire Harbaugh and 49ers CEO Jed York conceded that the Browns had made an inquiry.

While the truth regarding the extent of the talks isn’t known and could the subject of differing perceptions by the teams involved, the idea that Harbaugh knew absolutely nothing about the situation doesn’t seem credible.  Which makes it hard to put complete and total faith in anything else he says on the subject of whether he’ll remain the coach of the team for any specific period of time.

It’s not in Harbaugh’s or the team’s football interests for him to say now anything that would suggest he won’t be there for the next two years.  So he’ll say there’s no chance that he’ll be leaving, for the same reasons former Dolphins coach Nick Saban once declared that he’s not going to be the Alabama coach.

92 responses to “Harbaugh says there’s no chance he’ll leave San Francisco in the next two years

  1. Just wait until the Niners lose another big game ; he’ll be throwing a wad of chewing gum at a heckler just Ditka once did.

  2. You left out the part where he said about Baalke, “We’re both demanding and we want to be accountable for ourselves, for each other,” Harbaugh said. “If you haven’t had a brother, you probably don’t understand the relationship between the GM and the head coach. We’re partners on the same team. I have great respect for him. He works extremely hard at it and is very good at it. We are all part of a team. I believe in the structure we have. I don’t want to change anything that we do in that regard.”

  3. He couldn’t be telling the truth. Then this media driven estrogen-fest of the last two weeks would seem pretty silly. Wouldn’t it?

  4. Harbaugh’s gig is secure seeing as he’s been to the NFC championship game all 3 years…. but there’s the little issue that the guy he despises up north is a Super Bowl champion, and the Niner front office is getting impatient.

    And they should be. They handed him the reigns to 6 All Pros and countless more probowlers.

    Seattle handed Carroll and Schneider 9-23.

    Clock is ticking, Jim. Clock is ticking…

  5. 6.5 is still only 3rd highest in the NFCW…. York would be foolish not to pay it, and you are even more foolish if you think 6.5 is an astronomical demand. Ross was willing to pay over 8 right off the bat if necessary.. What do you think he would pay now? Give him his 6.5 and a xanax. Give Baalke one too and move on. BTW the entire 2012 draft class lends credence to Baalke needing to be a little more flexible on personnel

  6. He could be right. He’s a tough competitor and Baalke can easily be pawned off and under the bus when the time is right. He knows what cards he’s holding and he’s not afraid to draw from the deck either. Baalke can’t rationalize his way out of those potential fisticuffs. The NFL won’t have a zebra standing by to shore up the odds for that underdog.

  7. So we should believe you and your unconfirmed “sources”, and other people who stir the pot for a living, more than the man himself? Makes sense.

  8. I don’t particularly like Jim Harbaugh but he’s a good coach. The jury is out on whether he’s a great coach.

  9. The guy is such a whack-job, I’m sure he has no idea what he’ll do in the next couple of years.
    He may not have a choice in the matter. All it will take is a season that doesn’t meet expectations and he’ll no longer be worth the trouble. Or the money.

    There will be a season that fits that description coming soon, I think.

  10. Really….What do you expect him to say,at 5 mil a year with 2 years left.This season will be his last and he will move on.York and his crew will not give him an extension.

  11. They’re really milking this thing. Lay off already. You’re saying Harbaugh has no credibility in what he claims, yet all the reports out have zero credibility, all hearsay from “other” reporters that haven’t really heard anything…

  12. The Genghis Khan of head coaches has spoken. There was some kind of warning shot or power play and I believe where there is smoke there is fire. I really don’t think anyone is going anywhere at this point. It could have happened, if Jim was totally done or just wanted to move on. The 49ers have to demonstrate that they are a great organization and work through this rough patch. If they lose Harbaugh they have failed and will return to mediocrity.

  13. I know Jim Harbaugh is a maniac, but remember who you really are SF minus Joe Montana. Get off your pedestal and sign that coach. Or, trade him to Houston. Now i am done.

  14. So it’s false that Harbaugh wants out, false that he wants to be the highest paid coach, and false that the locker room doesn’t like him.

    All of that has been “leaked” to the media by the Niners front office– and that now seems like it’s a power-hungry-GM situation rather than a nobody-likes-the-coach situation.

  15. Jim Harbaugh is a talented coach but has the reputation of being a total prick. He will be probably be gone from the 49ers the moment that he has a poor season. The owner, Jed York and GM Trent Baalke have to work with him. The flirtation with Cleveland was not an amusing little joke, it was strongly considered because they know his strengths and his weaknesses and have to put up with him.
    Ask Jim Schwartz what he’s like.

  16. Davis has gone on record saying he can’t imagine playing for anyone else. Boldin just said there is no tension in the locker room, and he has a good rapport with the players. Bryan Jennings said Harbaugh is “head and shoulders” above any coach he had played with. Donte Whitner wants back on the team, and Goldson and Delany Walker all wanted back on the Niners, but Baalke thought otherwise. It’s overwhelming that players like playing for him. Except that is, for your so-called “unnamed” sources.

  17. He is playing nice now. He has to. The situation is tenuous and he needs to be diplomatic about things. What else is he going to say, that he will be shopping around for a new contract elsewhere if he does not get what he wants now with SF.

    If Miami offers him 8 Mil and SF is going ballistic and act like ingrates because they didn’t get to the SB, then he will go ballistic on them and scram.

  18. Harbaugh bows down to his master Pete Carroll. There’s no consolation prize for second place, as Jim Caldwell, Ken Whisenhunt, Lovie Smith, and Andy Reid can attest.

  19. “I’ve told my owner I don’t want any more power”

    I didn’t know Jim kept in touch with Pete Carroll in the offseason!

  20. You may not believe his words, but it is helpful to try to analyze what makes him tick. And all signs point to him wanting to win more than anything. Yes, he doesn’t want to be underpaid. But seeing how the guy loses it on every penalty called against his team, there is just no chance he would want to go to a project team like the Browns. 49ers are in a great spot right now with the new stadium coming on line. I would be shocked if he didn’t stay in SF.

  21. Here’s one undisputable fact. Every lawyer on earth is a liar. So are most journalists as long as it keeps them on the front page….. As crazy as Harbaugh can be I am taking his story 100 times outta 100 vs unconfirmed sources and pot stirring weasels.

  22. As a Seahawks fan, I dislike Harbough, but realize he’s a genius. He has the same poblem as people like Michael Jordan have. What makes them great is also what makes people dislike them. Harbough teaches his team to be powerful and take control of the game and instils an attitude of being the best. Harbough lives his life that way and believes he’s the best and is driven to make his team great. He most likely wants more power to shape his team just like he wants.

    MJ knew he was the best and played like it. It rubbed some wrong by making him look arrogant.

    I love the rivalry and am glad to see him stay, believe it or not.

  23. I love this. To the city by the bay, I find what your city stands for distasteful, I wish you all the disharmony, angst, frustration, and fruitless years. I sincerely hope that Harbaugh brings all this and much more.

  24. nflpropickemking says:
    Mar 3, 2014 10:48 PM
    Really….What do you expect him to say,at 5 mil a year with 2 years left.This season will be his last and he will move on.York and his crew will not give him an extension.

    2 9
    Report comment

    He could say many things…

    I’m under contract for two more years. We’ll let things play out and then deal with the future when it gets here.

    No comment.

    None of us may predict the future, but I enjoy coaching this team and I’m looking forward to this season, to finishing what we’re trying to do…

    If he does NOT want to tell us the truth, he should say “no comment”.

    I don’t expect him to lie. Again, he doesn’t have to offer info either. He could be generic or keep his lying trap shut…

  25. What do you expect him to say? Its a leverage play for a new contract with the whiners or someone else

  26. Harbaugh goes to A’s games from time to time. Is his heart in Oakland? It’s not a stretch to say that if Harbaugh leaves next year, he will go across the bay and accept the challenge of rebuilding the Raiders.

  27. Best talent in the past 4 year by far 49ers.

    Most over rated coach in the past 4 years=belongs to the 49ers.

    Who has got it better than them? Many! Seahawks, Ravens, Giants RINGS not old and dusty one!

    I don’t know if I want him to stay or if it would be more enjoyable watching this play out and blow up the entire franchise for the next 10 years! STAY!
    GoHawks! again, again and again!

  28. Cleveland Browns: Hey, Baalke, we want to interview Greg Roman for our head-coaching job.
    Baalke: Roman, I’m not so sure I want him to leave. But, if your desperate for a HC, why not make a trade for Harbaugh.
    Cleveland Browns: Harbaugh! Are you serious?
    Baalke: Yup, York and I want his power-hungry ass outa here. What’s he worth to you?
    Cleveland Browns: A 3rd and a 4th round pick.
    Baalke: Is that all?
    Cleveland Browns: Well, yes. That’s what we’re offering.
    Baalke: Yes, Mr Rosenberg, you can tell the readers of Sports Illustrated that I don’t know anything about a trade rumor for Coach Harbaugh.

  29. Just wait until Pete Carroll gets $10 million a year. Harbaughs head will explode like that guy in the opening scene of “Scanners.”

  30. Harbaugh has nothing to gain by saying those things. Wouldn’t statements like that evaporate all leverage in contract negotiations? This should flush all of the previously reported nonsense about the alleged deterioration in the 49ers org.

  31. Rosenberg: As for reports that Baalke and Harbaugh barely communicate, Harbaugh said “we talk daily, hourly.” (He was actually in a meeting with Baalke and others before we talked.)

  32. I like a guy who fights back. I predict that he gets his new contract two hours after the Bay Bridge is reduced to a single lane….

  33. That was the longest, beat around the bush, way of saying “I was wrong”. You will make a great politician some day.

  34. Generally, these guys don’t come out guns a blazing unless there’s truth to the original statements. If the ‘accusations’ were not true they tend to say nothing.

  35. Harbaugh has two more shots at a Superbowl with the 49ers. And vice versa.

    Harbaugh will leave eventually. Coaches, players, owners… the lot of them always do.

    All the rest of this is bitchy sniping from the media, trying to stir the pot and encourage hits on their webpages.

    I won’t be playing this game any more.

  36. Let’s keep in mind that anonymous “sources” don’t always seem to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I can have as many “sources” as I need to make a story “believable,” but that doesn’t make the story or the sources true.

    It sounds to me like people want to see a Rex Ryan-like collapse. Let’s just assume, like any other contract negotiation, that both sides will buck a little, and in six months everyone will be laughing about it as they get ready to make another run at a Super Bowl.

  37. Jimbo said “Zero opportunity or chance of that in my mind,”. That’s where his problems reside, in his mind! Let’s just say Jimmy has issues….LOL

  38. Getting to championship a lot os great but at some point you have to win one or it’s not much different than being 10-6 all the time and never winning the big one.

  39. Welcome to the media, where anonymous sources are consistently treated as honest and infallible while those who are willing to put a name to their statements are just assumed to be lying regardless of evidence.

    The excuses for not believing Harbaugh are flimsy. “Pursuing” vs. “evaluating” Peyton Manning is an argument over semantics. We’re making all sorts of assumptions about what Haslam means by “opportunity”; just because he feels like it was an opportunity doesn’t mean York seriously considered the trade or that talks went far enough to involve Harbaugh.

    The only cases where I’ve seen Harbaugh’s credibility get truly questionable is when he talks about his players. Yes, he always talks up his players in public, to the point of exaggeration and hyperbole. For a head coach, that’s probably not a bad thing.

    His statements on this matter, meanwhile, are entirely consistent with statements separately made by him, Baalke, and York in radio interviews earlier this year when the Texas thing first made his contract and relationship with Baalke a topic.

  40. This is being blown way out of proportion. It is good if he and the GM have tension on players. Why should the GM not have somebody in the organization to talk with? This is football, not tiddlywinks.

  41. Yep. He’s gone. As soon as they say something like that, you know the clock is ticking.

  42. Why is he wearing an epipen? Is he afraid of bees? Are you, Jim? Scared of wittle bees? Big tough guy afraid of a little stingy wingy? Ooh, I think I see a bee buzzing around your head. Don’t look! Wait, do look, it’s on your neck! Yes, swat it Jim, dance, dance!

    Actually, I think that’s just a regular marker.

  43. Memo to Harbaugh:

    Before asking/wanting/believing you should be paid like a Super Bowl winning coach you first actually need to WIN a Super Bowl.

    The ego on this clown is just amazing.

  44. “They handed him the reigns to 6 All Pros and countless more probowlers.”

    And for those players under Mike Singletary what was the record? oh, yeah. 18-22

  45. Sources have confirmed that Marv Levy is coming out of retirement to coach again.

    He is demanding to be paid like a Super Bowl winning coach.

  46. meatcarroll says:Mar 3, 2014 11:28 PM

    Harbaugh bows down to his master Pete Carroll. There’s no consolation prize for second place.


    We know, the league has watched the Seahacks play for over 30 years.

    Secondly, Harbaugh OWNS Pete the Cheat both in college and in the NFL. Your stadium has to do more with your wins than coaching.

    Lastly, what is this Carroll’s 3rd time coaching an NFL team? It’s Harbaughs first and he has brought it to 3 consecutive NFCCG appearances and Super Bowl.

  47. Oh, you’ll be leaving, big guy…You won’t make the playoffs next year, Keapernick will go to St. Louis, Aldon Smith will be with the Browns, Boldin will go back to Arizona, and the 40whiners’ run will be over…Hey, maybe the Vikings will need an OC assistant?

  48. This story seems extremely bizarre & overblown. Harbaugh has done a GREAT job as HC in SF & the Niners would be foolish not to give him an extension. He took a team that went 6-10 under Mike Singletary & then went 13-3. Took them with Alex Smith to the NFC championship game in his first year then decided to stick w/ Kaepernick over Smith & took the team to the SB. And then got them back to the NFC championship game for a third time in a row. That just doesn’t happen for an NFL HC in his first three years. If Harbaugh doesn’t deserve an extension the who does???

    Who cares if he doesn’t always get along w/ the GM? That’s the nature of the HC/GM relationship. Maybe if Baalke could draft a decent WR then Harbaugh wouldn’t be so pissed off. Team definitely stuggled on offense at times w/o Crabtree & they needed another WR besides Boldin. Meanwhile don’t forget that it was Harbaugh that pushed for Kaepernick so Jed York would be wise to back his HC or he could go easily screw this team up the way his parents did.

    The most laughable part is that the Browns are pathetic enough to think that they actually had a chance to get Harbaugh to come to Cleveland. Ha!!! Harbaugh may be a LOT of things but he’s not an idiot.

    Hmmmm…Let’s see. Should I stay in SF where I have a GREAT chance to win a SB in 2014 or go to the Browns organization that is clearly the worst franchise in the NFL? So they don’t have a QB, their owner is a crook, no one ever wins there, & HC’s are hired & then fired practically every year but does that REALLY matter. Yeah, this is a tough one…Okay. Honey, let’s sell the house, take the kids out of school & move to beautiful Cleveland!!!

  49. Sorry SeaPeds your worst nightmare just came true. Looks like back to back Super Bowls for Jimbo and Niners! Oakland nobody cares about you either. Are you tarping 2nd deck this year?

  50. Like I said… No way Harb leaves a SB caliber team and start all over somewhere else, especially a trash team like the Browns.

    He might squeeze a SB win out of his rear in 2015 but not in 2014.

    However, first he must fire Roman and dump Mangini from the coaching staff, and upgrade the OC, that won’t happen until after the 2014 season.

    Baalke might also get the walking papers if he doesn’t at least add a speedy #1 WR to the roster soon as he has failed 3+ years in doing so (remember he got TWO 2nd rd picks for the Alex Smith trade also, if those two picks don’t pan out either he is DONE.)

  51. Also if Harb leaves the NFC west division before Carroll does, it just makes him look like a sore loser that can’t compete and get the job done.

    It would be a JOKE and tarnish his NFL coaching legacy forever if he does not beat out Carroll and win at least one SB while Carroll is in the same division!

  52. Harblow isn’t even worthy of holding Carroll’s jockstrap. Niner fans apparently need to be reminded of who brought home the Lombardi a month ago.

  53. Furthermore, this all started with Eddie D talking about Harb should get a extension before the 2013 season was over…

    Eddie D needs to shut up, cause he’s NOT the owner anymore and he didn’t get voted into the hall of fame again.

    Until Harb beats out Carroll and wins a SB with the 49ers, no extension and no raise. No point talking about it.

    And Baalke has failed at drafting and acquiring a speed #1 WR for 3+ years, that’s the biggest problem Harb has with Baalke (and the biggest problem everyone, owner, coaching staff, players and fans should have with Baalke as the 49er GM), now that they are stuck with KraperChoke at QB until he isn’t a noob anymore and stop choking in the big games coming short of winning a SB year in year out.

  54. “(Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio) has not had a raise since he’s been here,” Harbaugh said. “Focus on that.”

    And who is in charge of assistant coach pay? Why, the general manager, of course. Trent Baalke. Who works directly under Jed York. Focus on THAT.

    Harb went to Baalke and Jed after the season and did ask for a raise for Fangio, if Fangio leaves for a higher HC job, the 9er defense would slip down hill. Without Fangio, the 49ers would lose more close games.

    This is another problem 49ers are facing.

    On the other hand, Roman is trash, he needs to be replaced and upgraded asap.

  55. Why would you sign an employee with two years left on their contract to an extension? This time nex year, if he’s won a SB, give him a big deal. If he comes up a little short of winning a SB, give him a one year extension for $6.5 million. If he misses the playoffs, no extension.

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