Jim Harbaugh remains the 49ers' coach. Trent Baalke remains the
general manager. Jimmy Haslam's "opportunity" has come and gone.
Still, uncertainty lingers in San Francisco. The relationship
between Harbaugh and Baalke has been portrayed as the major
source of internal dysfunction, but that might not be the only
area of concern.
Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle reported Sunday that
"Harbaugh's act has worn thin in the locker room, particularly
among some key 'face of the 49ers' type players," according to a
source with inside knowledge of the team.
This probably doesn't come as a surprise -- Harbaugh never will
be confused with Pete Carroll, after all. As for the "face of
the 49ers" bit, names like Frank Gore, Patrick Willis, Justin
Smith, Vernon Davis and Colin Kaepernick immediately spring to
Another 49ers source believes that even a rich, new contract
would provide only temporary tranquility within the organization.
"That's just who Jim is," the source said. "He'd probably like
to redo his contract every year, just out of competition."
These are the type of quotes that make it sound like Harbaugh's
more trouble than he's worth. But then you remember the Niners
have averaged 12 wins for the past three seasons with three deep
playoff runs, including one near Super Bowl triumph.
As long as that success continues, Harbaugh will continue to
possess supreme leverage.