The 49ers apparently can't buy a break when it comes to NFL discipline. Now the league is telling Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers to cut back on the comments about Alex Smith or any other unsigned player. Jim Harbaugh's man-crush on Alex Smith has resulted in numerous comments about Smith and even giving him a playbook in spite of his impending free agency. Now the NFL has stepped in like the heavy-handed parents trying to prevent star-crossed lovers from connecting!
The 49ers have been in the cross-hairs of the NFL numerous times in recent years, dating back to the Lance Briggs tampering fiasco. Earlier this year Harbaugh was reportedly disciplined for working with Smith before the lockout began. The league doesn't necessarily have it in for the 49ers, but they certainly seem to enjoy cracking down on the team even as we see numerous issues with other teams. That's not to say that the 49ers aren't bending the rules in certain instances, but it seems like it's as much about making an example of one team over others.
Of course, it's not like Harbaugh has kept a low profile when it comes to Alex Smith. This is one more example of the lockout causing problems. Prior to the start of free agency a team controls the rights to a player and can work out deals accordingly. Unfortunately, we're in a no-man's land while awaiting the end of the lockout. I am a little confused though as to why Harbaugh can't discuss Alex Smith. I realize he's a pending free agent, but he hasn't really reached free agency at this point.
It's really a shame that we won't get to hear more from Coach Harbaugh about Smith. It was somewhere between kind of amusing and a little awkward as he gushed on about Smith.