The 49ers have pulled the plug on any further contract talks for coach Jim Harbaugh.
But 49ers owner Jed York told Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com that money’s not the sticking point in the now-tabled negotiation.
“There’s not some crazy divide of where we are,” York said. “When we talked about a deal, Jim very clearly said, ‘I don’t want to do a deal too early because as a leader of the team, I don’t want to set that precedent.’
“When we talked about the contract we offered, it wasn’t Jim demanding to be the highest-paid coach. It was him saying, ‘I don’t think now is the right time because it sets the wrong precedent.'”
Harbaugh’s in the fourth year of a five-year, $25 million contract,
York said that Harbaugh wanted to “circle a date on the calendar a week or so after the season is over and we’ll talk about it at that point.”
York was adamant he wanted to keep Harbaugh in place.
“We want Jim to be our head coach,” York said. “I don’t know what else we can say to dispel any of those rumors. We’d like Jim to be our head coach.
“Instead of dealing with this [contract’ and making it a distraction in a year in which we feel very good about our football team, we’re focusing on getting better every single day. We want to make it very clear there’s no disconnection here. We’re on the exact same page, and we’re going to sit down and talk about his contract at the end of the year.”
Given the discussions with the Browns this offseason, that turns this season into a huge leverage play for one side or the other, and pushing the contract talks to the corner doesn’t mean the drama will go away.