Jim Harbaugh spoke to Sports Illustrated’s Michael Rosenberg about the reported rift between him and 49ers GM Trent Baalke.
Harbaugh said he doesn’t want a raise, he doesn’t want more control over personnel decisions, and his relationship with Baalke is that of two brothers.
Everything’s fine, in other words.
His statements come a week after the Browns approached the 49ers about trading a package of draft picks for Harbaugh.
News of that trade illuminated internal tensions between Harbaugh and the team.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported that Harbaugh and Baalke were barely on speaking terms. Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that even some key players were frustrated with Harbaugh’s “act.”
On wanting 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 wanting to be the highest-paid coach:
“What I do know is this: I make plenty of money. And I don’t do five times as much work as any other coach on the staff. I get paid extremely well. Jed York has always been square dealing with me. I don’t think about that as an issue … I’ve seen it written like fact: ‘Harbaugh wants to be the highest paid coach in football’, or ‘desperately covets a new contract’. For the record: I make plenty of money. I mean, plenty of money.'”
On his relationship with Baalke:
“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.”
These quotes aren’t surprising. It’s not like Harbaugh was going to come out and announce that he despises Baalke and wants a $US10 million contract.
But at least he’s on the record as saying the entire saga is overblown.
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