Last night, Sports Illustrated published an interview with Jim Harbaugh in which the 49ers head coach addressed the rumors and speculation swirling around the franchise the last two weeks. In case you missed it, the gist of the interview was that there was "[z]ero opportunity or chance" in Coach Harbaugh's mind of an opportunity in which he would leave the franchise before his five year contract expires after the 2015 season.
Coach Harbaugh also addressed the rumors of front office dysfunction, describing his relationship with GM Trent Baalke as almost brotherly in nature.
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.
The column is worth a read, and naturally there has been a lot of reaction to it. Bay Area Sports Guy falls in with where I am to some extent. He talked about how it was in the best interests of both Harbaugh and Anquan Boldin to have the comments they had on Monday. However, as I too believe, he talked about the notion that the truth is somewhere in the middle of all this nonsense. Columnists and national media have taken various half truths and run with it to the point of some level of exaggeration.
Tim Kawakami had a rather interesting take on the whole situation. He described Harbaugh's comments as brilliant in the way they re-set the landscape of this situation. He talked about how this all sets up for a sort of make-or-break year in 2014. He views Harbaugh's comments as reinforcing the fact that he will be coaching this team in 2014, and nothing else matters. It is sort of a "shut up and play" type of deal, if you will.
I agree to some extent with Kawakami that we could be in for an epic season, however it plays out. The media will be all over this heading into training camp. Ideally Harbaugh's comments would shut this thing down, but we know that won't be the case. It might quiet down for now, but once he is made available to the media, national folks will pounce.
Speaking of which, I am not remotely surprised that Pro Football Talk all but said Jim Harbaugh was lying in this interview. This followed more BS from them following Anquan Boldin's conference call. In writing about Boldin's comments saying he did not think there was a rift in the locker room, Mike Florio stated that it had no relevance on the "widespread reports of tension between Harbaugh and the front office".
As we can see, anything that goes against Florio's pre-determined narrative needs to be discounted for one reason or another. It's chicken [site decorum] nonsense, and one more sign that while he's great at pushing people's buttons, he lacks integrity. I suppose I could make worse accusations, but in my mind, if you lack integrity, it doesn't get much worse. Florio is fine just pushing his agendas and getting his page clicks, but thankfully more and more people are coming to recognize his complete and total lack of integrity.
Now that I got that out of my system, I figure it's time to actually poll people on the future of Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers. We know he is signed through 2015, and he said he is going nowhere in the meantime. Assuming it plays out like that, do you see him getting a contract extension with the 49ers? Whether you think it happens this offseason, next offseason, or the following offseason, does he sign a new deal with the team?