Jim Harbaugh, Steve Ross, Jed York: 49ers Head Coach Search Menage-A-Trois Of Pain

You're gonna pay $7M-$8M for that kind of action, Cotton. Indeed, the numbers are officially getting mind-numbing. The latest reports have Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, GM Jeff Ireland, and advisor Carl Peterson landing in San Jose International Airport at 11:24pm local time last night. Their intent is to make a push for Jim Harbaugh and try and snag him out from the grasp of Jed York and the 49ers. The question remains as to how tenuous that grasp had been.

The 49ers appear to be offering somewhere in the neighborhood of $4.5 to $5 million. Reports around the Internet had a deal closing in at $5M, although apparently Harbaugh may have wanted $6M. Steve Ross then entered the picture with rumors he's ready to go upwards of $7M or $8M. It's Ross' money so I certainly won't begin to offer him advice about he wants to throw it around. However, his rather erratic actions inspire comparisons to another drunken billionaire in the form of Dan Snyder. If Mike Shanahan wasn't such a new hire, does anybody else think Snyder would have waded into this billionaire pissing contest?

At this point we're talking a difference of $2M to $3M. It seems to me that if Jed was willing to go up to $6M, Ross would be much more inclined to go to the upper limit of $8M. If he's willing to continue beyond that then it's entirely possible there's no number too high. Compared to some player contracts that difference isn't huge. Of course over a five year deal that amounts to a $10-$15 million difference which isn't quite so small.

Does Jed York need to take a stand at this point or does he just have to continue shoveling cash out of the vault? Is it smart or stubborn to not continue escalating, and at what point does it officially become ridiculous? It seemed ridiculous heading into the dinner hour last night, and then it reached a whole new level of ridiculous after that. That's what happens when rich folk get into a pissing contest.

And amidst all of this, Tony Sparano has to be sitting around thinking, WTF?

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