The San Francisco 49ers find themselves amidst a swirl of rumors surrounding head coach Jim Harbaugh. The rumors have been swirling all season long, and Adam Schefter is the latest to jump in the mix. Schefter tweeted that a source said he was convinced the Oakland Raiders are the favorite to trade for Jim Harbaugh. He also tweeted that the Jets were "known to be keeping a close eye on the situation."
This is obviously not the hardest of news. Schefter can couch this in the notion that, well, this guy was convinced, but he could very well be wrong. That has been how most of the Harbaugh rumors have gone throughout this season, and will continue to do so until his situation with San Francisco is resolved.
Matt Maiocco raised a good point, and one which a lot of the national media continue to ignore.
One potential sticking point on any potential trade could be Harbaugh's unwillingness to go to a team that has to give up a draft pick in order to acquire his services. All indications are that Harbaugh would be willing to coach the 49ers next season in the final year of his contract.
As Maiocco pointed out, given the tumult of this season, if the 49ers want to part ways with Jim Harbaugh, they may be stuck in a tough situation. While they can trade him to another NFL team, he would seem to have to actually be willing to go to that team. A player can threaten not to report, but if he is traded, he usually will report. With a head coach, trades are rare, and I would contend a coach has a good deal more power than the player in holding up a potential trade.
It is possible Jim Harbaugh would not want to see a future employer give up picks for him. At the same time, given his performances dating back to his first head coaching job at the University of San Diego, he could be confident enough in his abilities to overcome lost picks. And of course, this could result in a negotiation that gets the 49ers weaker picks than they want, but enough to justify in their minds a deal for Harbaugh.
It is going to be a long couple months moving forward until this is resolved. Jed York has said contract negotiations are going to be tabled until the offseason. If the 49ers do not make the playoffs, the offseason comes sooner rather than later. If they make the playoffs, it probably complicates it further since they would be behind the eight ball with a head coaching hire AND that head coach filling out his staff.
Yep, this whole thing is a convoluted mess.