Amid one speculative report after the other about his relationship with the San Francisco 49ers’ front office, his financial wishes and his need for more power, coach Jim Harbaugh opened up Monday night with Sports Illustrated.
Harbaugh said a lot. All of it pointed to him being quite satisfied as the 49ers' coach. Here’s a little from the eye-opening interview, which even the 49ers' website linked to.
"I see all these reports about how I want to be the highest-paid coach in football," Harbaugh said. "They presume I covet some kind of extension. I have never said to anybody that I want to be the highest-paid coach in football. I have never said that to anybody -- my wife, my brother, my dad. I make plenty of money.
"The other one is that I want more power. I have never said that, nor do I want any more power than I have. I coach the team. I've told my owner I don't want any more power. I want to coach the team. And I've never told anybody else otherwise."
On his relationship with 49ers general manager Trent Baalke: "We're both demanding and we want to be accountable for ourselves, for each other. If you haven't had a brother, you probably don't understand the relationship between the GM and the head coach. We're partners on the same team. I have great respect for him. He works extremely hard at it and is very good at it. We are all part of a team. I believe in the structure we have. I don't want to change anything that we do in that regard."
Harbaugh's words should end speculation about upheaval in the offices of one of the NFL’s best teams. But I am skeptical if they will. However, this will all go away with an extension that will keep Harbaugh in San Francisco beyond the next couple of years.
Ultimately, I think all sides know that keeping Harbaugh in San Francisco is best for everyone. Yes, there are bumps in the road, but Harbaugh is now on the record saying he’s satisfied in San Francisco. That’s a big step toward ending all this early-offseason gossip.