Fooch's Update: As someone pointed out, this would seem to confirm some of the Facebook post from Jim Harbaugh's son (later claimed to be hacked).
I don't know that this qualifies as shocking news, but it is sort of news I suppose. Tim Kawakami is reporting the San Francisco 49ers informed Jim Harbaugh he would not be back in 2015 after the team lost to the Seattle Seahawks up at CenturyLink Field.
Jed York and Trent Baalke described it as a mutual parting of the ways, but obviously this report tries to add more context to the situation. Kawakami spoke to "multiple NFL sources", and TK describes the situation as Harbaugh was told he would not be back back, and that led to him figuring out the Michigan scenario in the time leading up to the team's season finale. It was reported he was gone to Michigan the night before the 49ers season finale, so this would all fit into the timeline fairly well.
Back in early January, Jim Harbaugh did an interview with Mike & Mike in which he said he had a conversation with the owner, "and understood what direction that the organization wanted to go." That would certainly come across as saying this was on ownership.
York was on NFL Network on Friday, and he stuck with the mutual parting theme:
Again, when you mutually part ways there are two sides to it. I realize people don't want to look at it like that - they want to say Jim was fired. That's not the case. Jim signed on at Michigan very shortly after he left. Obviously, there were announcements before he left that he was going to Michigan and he obviously had a tie to his alma mater. There were things there - it wasn't ‘Well, we just couldn't get along.' It was on both sides. I think he's going in a direction that's going to be very successful for him and his career. And I think we're going in a direction that continues a lot of the things that he helped put in place. And we're going to take it to the next step. And I'm very excited about where we are.
We are unlikely to ever get 100 percent clear information on this because any source will clearly have an agenda. The 49ers have continually described this as a mutual decision.
TK suggested Harbaugh agreed to this so the 49ers would not hold up the final year of his contract if he decided to return to the NFL. He was seemingly under the impression he was out the door at season's end, but if Michigan needed an answer sooner rather than later, maybe it made sense to just let the team say what they want and move on.
Harbaugh has not publicly said anything negative about York, but that Mike & Mike comment came pretty close to saying, no, it was not mutual. We're never going to get all the information we might want, but each side will leak out the details they prefer. Believe what you want from all this.