We had a couple minor "developments" in the Jim Harbaugh saga, with one constituting news, and the other constituting the usual speculation. We are likely still waiting through the end of the season for any more concrete developments, but the process continues to move along.
San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke did his weekly interview with 95.7 The Game, and he actually confirmed that Michigan had approached the team. He would not say that Harbaugh had an official contract offer in hand, but he did say the school had approached the 49ers about Harbaugh.
Later during Monday Night Football, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that this is coming down Michigan vs. the Raiders, with the Bears apparently out of the picture for now. Additionally, Schefter said the "[p]endulum is swinging a little bit to Michigan, he's giving it more and more thought." A lot of these reports have been couched in terms that will allow the "Insiders" to back track if it does not quite go the way they are reporting.
Here is the Harbaugh portion of Trent Baalke's radio interview.
On Harbaugh reports about him leaving within 48 hours of end of season:
Once again, I don't know where half of these reports, or the way this season has gone, where 90 percent of these reports come from. I don't know who the so-called sources, whether they're in this building or not. There's a lot of speculation, and there's a lot of discussion. I think coach and I have steadfastly said our concern is this week, getting ready for this week. We've said that for the last 20 weeks since the preseason started. I'm going to leave it at that. That's our focus. We got one game left, this team has a chance to finish 8-8, and I think if you talk to every man in this building, player, coach, executive, that's what we're shooting for, and that's what we're trying to get prepared for.
On Vernon Davis saying distractions affected his play:
I didn't see that exact, what his statement was, I guess. I think when you look at distractions, and we've talked about this before, we've got a lot of them. Whether it's coach's situation, whether it's my situation, whether it's players off the field. Certain things that we're doing, I mean there's been a lot of distractions this entire season that started prior to the season. And I think when you look at that through a player's perspective, or a coach's perspective or my perspective, I think we look at it the same. We'd prefer to have no distractions. Unfortunately we've had to deal with a lot of them. And we've had to deal with a lot of injuries, which is part of this game. So there's been a lot of things we've had to deal with that the previous three seasons we didn't have to deal with nearly as much.
On continuing to deal with it and impacting things:
Well, it's not been easy. As professionals, what you do is focus on what you need to focus on, and do what you need to do to block out the distractions. You compartmentalize things the best you can. And sometime that's more difficult than others. I'm confident that this group will try to do just that one more week. And coach I know is doing it, and he's focused to get this W, just as the rest of the coaching staff in that locker room does. So we're going to do our best this week to go out there and get better, and do the things we need to do to win on Sunday.
On if Harbaugh will be back for the final year of his contract:
Once again, you guys can ask me these questions a million times, a million different ways, and I'm going to tell you the same thing, just as coach does. We're worried about this Sunday. And we're going to sit down, and we're going to discuss things, and we'll see where this thing goes at the conclusion of the season. But right now our focus is on one thing and one thing only, and that's Arizona.
On whether a trade could happen:
Well once again, you're asking questions that, I don't know if those are questions or statements. I'm going to leave it as I've stated. Our focus is on this last game. We'll address next season after this season is over, and not until then.
If it's distraction, why keep him on the staff with playoffs out of the picture:
Once again, those are your words. Calling coach a distraction? I don't think....
On that some of it might be fabrication, but some of it is likely true:
I think you raise a good point. You talk about the media and what's written, what's reported. It's always 50/50. 50 percent of what you read is fact, 50 percent of what you read is fiction. I'm not in the fiction business. All I'm going to say is stay on point, and tell you what we've been telling you, just as coach has been telling you. We'll deal with this at the end of the season. That's when we'll deal with it.
On any issues with Michigan making an offer to Harbaugh:
No, I don't think so. I think as long as it's handled correctly, and the University of Michigan in reaching out did handle it correctly. As I look at it, guys, it's very simple. He's the head football coach of the San Francisco 49ers. You read a lot of reports, not just about coach, but about a lot of coaches, a lot of speculation. This team has offered him...We heard the same thing last year with the University of Texas and USC and a couple others making overtures to him. He's a good football coach. And people want good football coaches. Anytime there's an opportunity for a place like the University of Michigan or the University of Texas, to look into good football coaches, they do that. And that's to be expected. You'd rather have somebody that's coveted than somebody that's not.
On issue of college offering a contract when coach is still under contract:
Well, once again, have they offered him a contract, or is that just being reported?
A contract has been on the table, why would a reporter make up numbers:
I will wholeheartedly disagree with you. There are plenty of facts over the last ten years of all the false numbers that have been thrown around. That's just part of the business....I'm not going to get into fact and fiction. I don't know that it's been offered to him. I don't know that it's been offered at all. I've not seen the report that says there's a contract that has been handed to him and he's mulling it over.