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Ed Donatell signs 2-year contract to return as 49ers secondary coach

The 49ers have reportedly signed secondary coach Ed Donatell to a new contract. We've got the latest details.


ESPN's Bill Williamson is reporting the San Francisco 49ers have agreed to terms on a 2-year contract with secondary coach Ed Donatell. His contract expired after this past season. Although he has been a popular interview request for defensive coordinator jobs, the well ended up relatively dry this year once the 49ers finished their playoff run. He now is signed through the 2015 season.

As Williamson pointed out in his report, the 49ers likely made it worth Donatell's while to stick around for more than just a one-year deal. The 49ers have one of the highest paid coaching staffs in the league, and will grow even further if they get an extension worked out with Jim Harbaugh.

The New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are among the teams rumored to have requested interviews of Donatell in previous seasons. Both teams were blocked because Donatell was under contract. Although it is probably somewhat frustrating to miss out on these opportunities, Donatell has stated he understands the situation, and the realities of being under contract.

What I do enjoy about this is that it provides a slight crack in the notion that Harbaugh and company can not get along. It's only one coach, and as they say "money talks", but Donatell provides us with an important lesson. On the one hand, it is possible the Harbaugh issues are overblown. On the other hand, even if Donatell were to have issues with Harbaugh, his willingness to sign a multi-year extension shows that he can be a grown-up about the situation.

I have no idea what Donatell feels about Harbaugh, but given how badly people want to infer things are on the verge of falling apart, this goes against the grain of that media-fueled narrative. It certainly doesn't end any of this, but it's nice to get some good news about the coaching staff amidst the rumor-mongering.