Baalke says Harbaugh decision will be made after the season

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With the 49ers mathematically eliminated from postseason contention and the final two games of the season essentially meaningless, the franchise can begin making decisions about 2015.

It can, but it won’t.

In a Monday appearance on 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, 49ers G.M. Trent Baalke said that a decision on the status of coach Jim Harbaugh won’t be made until the team has concluded its 2014 schedule.

“When the season ends, decisions are going to be made,” Baalke said, via Matt Maiocco of  “And that’s when that conversation is going to take place.  Jim and I sat here this morning and we basically talked about just that, and we talked about what we needed to do from a roster standpoint to get ready to play Saturday.

“And that’s really the focus. The focus is on getting ourselves prepared to win a football game. And although there may not be as much at stake, and some people wonder why you’re putting that much effort into it, [it’s] because we’re professionals and we’re very prideful in what we do.  And we want to go out and win a football game.  And the only way you can do that is get complete focus on it.”

Harbaugh apparently is so focused on winning the next game that he doesn’t realize he and Baalke met on Monday to discuss that decisions won’t be made until after the season.  Harbaugh reiterated to reporters on Monday afternoon that he’s “always available” to talk to the owner and G.M. and that no meetings are planned.

While that technically may be truthful since he wasn’t asked whether a meeting already had occurred, the complexity of potentially trading Harbaugh requires things to happen discreetly, behind the scenes.  As explained last week, the Rooney Rule complicates the ability of the 49ers to trade Harbaugh’s rights to another team.  Before a new team can trade for Harbaugh, that team must interview at least one minority candidate for the job.

Also complicating a potential trade is that Harbaugh must be on board with the move.  Although former NFL G.M. Bill Polian declared during a Monday appearance on ESPN that the 49ers can trade Harbaugh without his consent, that’s not how it works.  The 49ers and the new team would work out compensation that would change hands if the new team works out a deal with Harbaugh.

Officially, nothing can happen until the season ends.  Unofficially, the 49ers need to know which team(s) Harbaugh would be willing to coach, whether those teams are interested in trading for Harbaugh, and whether Harbaugh would balk at the compensation, since the more his new team gives up to get him, the less Harbaugh will have to help build a winner in whichever team inherits the guy who’ll be sewing a couple of new logos onto his black shirt, black hat, tan pleated pants ensemble.

56 responses to “Baalke says Harbaugh decision will be made after the season

  1. If a team is set on Harbaugh it’s absolutely absurd that they have to go through the dog and pony show of interviewing a minority candidate that they have zero intention of hiring just to satisfy the Rooney Rule. Serious question here…. does it have to be a serious coaching candidate with solid experience they interview for the Rooney Rule or could they just interview the first black guy they see walking down the street. Take him out to lunch and tell him thanks but we’re going to go in a different direction.

  2. As a Seahawks fan, I would keep Harbaugh over Baalke. Look at Baalke’s last 2 drafts and offseason moves .. what has he done? Harbaugh took the existing players on this roster and took them to 3 straight NFC championship games. HARBAUGH turned Alex Smith from a perennial bust into a very competent Quarterback (Game manager). Baalke has done very little in my eyes to show how great of an executive he is.

    That’s what a young owner does for you.

  3. Yes San Francisco, Harbaugh is the root of all your problems. Really? Harbaugh is a great coach that has done a phenomenal job every year since he came on board and turned around your franchise. Baalke you ask? Outside of the draft that McCloughan set the table for him on, Baalke has not done jack, he can’t even control his daughter on Twitter. So be smart York if you can be, keep Harbaugh, save your team and move on from Baalke. I’ve been a Hawks fan for more than 20 years, this rivalry is at present the best in football and Harbaugh knows his stuff.

  4. Bears fans would welcome him back with open arms. Is he a jack*ass yes, but anyone who can come into Chicago and cut the 3/4 of the team without the talent to play pro ball and get the other 1/4 to play to their ability would be a godsend.

  5. The media better hope Harbaugh ends up being fired/traded cause if not, they’re not gonna look very smart after all the speculation and rumors they devoted their sweet precious time to.

  6. I think SF lands at 9-7, decent record for such a whiney fan base, be hilarious to see them dump Harbaugh and watch hat team plummet..

    6-10 or 7-9 may take the NFCS and they are contemplating getting rid of a projected 9-7 team? call it looking for winners all you want 3 consecutive NFC title games it NEVER gets that good, typically its one conference title game then back to the cellar, just look at the history, 3 in a row?

    especially whenyou consider the NFC was weak until Jimmy showed up then all the sudden the NFCW is BLISTERING hot and the NFC has stepped it up

    wouldn’t blame him for leaving that ungrateful fan base tho, and the owners child texting negativity about her own team? I don’t mean just own favorite team literally her team as her father owns it?


  7. not sure why they’re not being honest, Harbaugh is gone as coach, no one from front office has said Harbaugh is coming back, he’s never said it, York said he’s his coach but “sources” close to the front office say he’s not coming back. this has been a circus from day 1. How could it not affect the players, they’re professional but also human. just don’t know why they couldn’t figure a way out to stay, but Harbaugh is gone and we need to keep Fangio, Go Niners

  8. I can’t imagine a team would trade for him. If they knew he wanted to coach there, why wouldn’t they just wait for him to go there without giving up a pick or cash? The 9ers clearly do not want him back.

  9. Kiss the khakis goodbye.
    Everyone else has it better.
    Make the raiders relevant again Jim.

  10. Maybe Baalke never had a conversation with Harbaugh. Baalke is a control freak that knows very little about being an effective GM. He is hell bent on throwing Harbaugh under the bus because he is such a little man he can’t take responsibility for his own short comings. It surely isn’t me so it must be the coach. If the 49ers organization were smart they would get rid of Baalke and keep Harbaugh. Unfortunately for 49ers fans it doesn’t look like that is going to happen.

  11. Harbaugh just stand pat and they will release you. Then you can come to Oakland with 66 million under the cap, a franchise QB, top 3 pick, and a new city/market in LA.

  12. Harbaugh isn’t your problem. Eddie’s dummy sister and her moron husband are running that storied franchise into the ground in spite of some success. Bring Eddie back and dump the Yorks. Keep Harbaugh and give him a GM that can manage his personality.

    I’m a Seahawks fan and even I think losing Harbaugh is ridiculous for the Niners.

  13. All depends on how the current Contract is constructed too.

    Sucks that it has come to this but, Jim is under Contract for another year.
    Job openings have a limited shelf life.

    Something can always be worked out in terms of compensation, if both parties are willing to work it out.

    The hurdle seems to be Jim being unwilling to compromise, on making changes to his current SF Offensive Staff.

    I also wonder how much responsibility was attached to Kaepernick/Harbaugh from the start?

    Could it be that Jim selected Kaep and can’t develop him into a pocket passer in the current system?

  14. Baalke is getting by with McCloughan ‘s picks, for as many late picks he’s hit on, he’s got some significant bombs in the top rounds. If Harbaugh is gone 49ers go to rebuilding mode. Though his only mistake was hitching his wagon to the wrong QB… team lost all accountability on offense once Smith left.
    If the 49ers stick to Kaep after 4 years in the same system it’ll be bad. As for fans calling out for more option/pistol plays they’re trying to develop him not have be a gimmick QB… nothing more than a RB with a rocket arm.

  15. I don’t want Harbaugh to go, but he’s so loyal to his current QB and his OC that a change at the helm may be necessary. I just wish he had been as loyal to Alex Smith and maybe he’d have a ring to leverage that SB-winning coach contract he has supposedly been angling for.

  16. I suspect they’re shopping him already. You don’t want to wait too long on this thing or whatever teams need to replace their HC will have to move on. This is the same deal that applies to SB coordinators not getting jobs – they’re still working when others are getting interviewed and hired.

  17. As a Niners fan, of course I want harbaugh to stay. I really want Harbaugh to stay just so Florio can stop writing absolute nonsense every other day about Harbaugh.

  18. The fact he doesn’t say Harbaugh is safe likely means he’s gone barring two amazing games by the niners showing something to hope for.

    In the NFL not saying something can be just as telling if not more telling than saying something.

  19. The only place this self centered drama queen fits is the college game where it can be all about him 24-7. I myself wouldn’t want my kid being coached/raised by a guy who pitches a fit like a little girl every time things don’t go his way though. I’d like my son to see an authority figure that treats others with respect.

  20. Trent Baalke should be fired not coach Harbaugh. hes the reason the team has had so much success after taking over as head coach and im sure alot of 49ers fans would be pissed if they let him go and go back to the Mike Nolan days…. in my opinion keeping Jim Harbaugh would be the best thing for the franchise….. #injimharbaughwetrust #heisourfuture

  21. Oh the great Baalke and all his accomplishments in the NFL. What a joke this guy is. I hope Harbaugh stays in the league so he can make them regret their high school butthurt mentality.

  22. There should be a Lombardi rule, where each team is required to interview at least one Italian coach too.

  23. Not that Mr. Baalke reads this but if he was, I would point to this stat: 46-82.

    From 2003 until the hiring of Jim Harbaugh (2011), the San Francisco 49ers have won 46 games compared to 82 losses. Since taking over in 2011, Harbaugh is just three wins shy of eclipsing that amount in four less seasons.

    Thank you Mr. Baalke for making the decision most believe you have already made. The rest of the NFC thanks you.

  24. The owner and the GM can’t have a collegial glass of chardonnay with their present head coach, therefore he must be shown the door.

    “I see you bought the industrial size bottle of lighter fluid. Smart.”

  25. I never thought I would say this but….I hope he goes somewhere else so Baalke and Dork can drive the team into the ground..They have to be two of the biggest fools alive….

  26. It all starts at the top…we’ve seen this happen after the DeBartolo era ended. Once he was gone we lost our identity. This coach is one of the 5 best in all of football right now, I truly believe that. If you voluntarily let him walk you’re telling fans like myself that you have no clue. It’s arrogant and reckless to think you’ll get anyone that will go 48-21-1 in 70 games. Just idiocy at the highest order. We can learn a lot from Allen and Schneider in Seattle, they are kicking our ass in multiple facets right now.

  27. So it’s Baalke vs. Harbaugh right. And just how many teams fan bases would be lined up for Trent Baalke if he were available? My god Stephen Ross is ready to throw ANOTHER coach under the bus for Harbaugh again. So why are the ‘9ers siding with Baalke on this one? Just cuz Harbaugh is a jerk? I’m sure Belichick isn’t the easiest to get along with too but sometimes you have to deal with it to win.

  28. The problem is the college offense that Harbaugh installed has run its course, its utterly predictable and everything points to that being the main point of contention. Tbe front office wants a change on the offensive staff, a change that Harbaugh appears to be resisting.

    Four seasons in and this team still cant manage a playclock properly, they still are terrible in the redzone and they are scoring less points per game than they did during the Singletary era, all while having a lot more offensive talent to work with. The offense is arguably doing less with more than any other team in the NFL on offense. From being unable to convert 3rd downs in the NFCCG in 2011, to not giving the ball to Gore down on the goalline vs the Ravens in the Superbowl, this offense has continually fallen short, irrespective of QB and personnel.

    If Harbaugh goes down, it is because he is extremely stubborn and resistant to change and as long as he continues with this same offensive scheme, he’ll always be “good enough” but not a guy who wins it all.

    Neither he nor the 49ers will be better off being without the other, things didnt have to be like this and I blame both Harbaugh and the front office for the impasse. You have two major alpha male types in Harbaugh and Baalke and they were bound to clash, both are at fault to varying degrees.

  29. At this point, everyone is just guessing on what is really going on in the 49 er organization. I believe Harbaugh is the Genghis Khan of head coaches . He has been lights out at every coaching job he’s had. We won’t know the extent of just how hard it is to ,shall we say,share power in a professional football organization with Jim. This is a divorce. Both parties want out but the 49ers hold the high card because there are openings where Harbaugh wants to land. If you have ever watched a Jim Harbaugh presser you may be seeing what he might be like at a staff meeting. After the block buster trade it will all come out but not before. The 49ers want to maximize their return and rebuild through the draft…Q.B. #1 priority.

  30. I’d love him to stay, however, if he is unwilling and unable to see that the reason we dont have 8 Superbowls right now is that his offense is OFFENSIVE then he must go. Keep Fangio, get BO and Willis healthy and keep Aldon out of trouble, Sign Frank to back up Hyde next year, and sprinkle in some Hunter at tailback, let Crab go and draft a speedy wideout or two, plug in the Clemson kid at guard and sit Boone, Re-sign Iupati, Get Brock and Dorsey healthy, sign an offensive tactician for a head coach who will use SOME not all elements of Pistol and read option, Give Vernon one more chance for redemption,incorporate V. Mcdonald into passing game, more screens and west coast staples,Keep Kap outta weight room and in FILM ROOM every damn day and BAM, we are back in Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s in 2016.
    The talent is there, make it happen Trent and Jed.

  31. “…just how many teams fan bases would be lined up for…”

    This is not a cheerocracy.

    The HC doesn’t wag the GM and owner.

    (Insert other obvious platitudes)

  32. Balke shouldn’t even be involved about Jim Harbaugh’s future, he should be counting his own severance pay and putting his house on the market. He totally sucks as GM and has made a total mess out of the club’s relationship with one of the best coaches in the league. If the Niners keep Balke and trade Harbaugh it will be a very sad day for the 49ers and a very short ride to the bottom with a very long way back if they ever make it. I’ve been rooting for the 49ers since 1969 and this is a really bad feeling. We now know who Sanders and co were talking to.

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