It appears that Jim Harbaugh has worn out his welcome in San Francisco. However, he still is under contract for one more season leading people to speculate the 49ners will want a draft pick for him. There are clearly some teams interested in Harbaugh such as the Jets, Dolphins, Raiders, not to mention Michigan. This creates some very interesting dynamics on many fronts. Firstly, the NFL tamper rules are almost impossible to enforce in this case. Steven Ross is a MAJOR contributor to the University of Michigan and has a ton of weight there. Ross is going to get information on Harbaugh from any discussions he has with Michigan. Do you really think Michigan is not going to communicate to a guy that gave the university a couple HUNDRED million? Ross can basically interview Harbaugh right now if he wants, just not in person. I know if I am Michigan and Harbaugh tells me he wants to stay in the NFL, I am probably going to do Steven Ross a “solid” and interview him for the "
Michigan Miami" job anyway. Furthermore, despite the 49ners holding the
contract, it is essentially has no teeth.
I don’t see any team giving up draft picks to San Francisco unless
Harbaugh agrees to a multi-year deal. Why would you give them picks for a coach
with just a 1 year contract?
So that brings you to the end of the year. The 49ners one play is to sit still and wait for team to make them a offer before letting Harbaugh go. However, there is one problem. They have to chase their own head coach still. It is a free for all once the season ends. Do the 49ners really want to pass up interviewing coaches to try to squeeze a draft pick out of Harbaugh? Miami on the other hand can start interviewing coaches and line up options A, B and C. Also, there is one other issue; Jim Harbaugh does not want a draft pick to go to the 49ners for him. Why in the hell would he want that, it would be HIS PICK on his new team? Good luck getting Harbaugh to cooperate in that situation lol. The 49ners could try to keep him in contract and interview other coaches. However, they start flirting with some serious legal issues. It is pretty hard to hold someone under a employment contract without the intent of honoring that contract . Harbaugh would have a pretty strong case that they intentionally cost him a 4-5 year deal. Not to mention does the coach you are are interviewing feel good about seeing you do that the coach he is replacing? Miami did this exact thing, that is why Tony Sporano got a nice raise for his last year in Miami. I don't think the 49ners are going to want to give Harbaugh a raise on his final year to avoid him from talking to an attorney.
If Steven Ross really wants Harbaugh, now is the time to make it happen. If I were Ross I would be talking to Harbaugh indirectly right now through my Michigan contacts. I would get a deal in place and then they both can just sit and play poker with 49ners and wait for them to just give in and release Harbaugh. Make no mistake; I would make this Jim Harbaugh’s team right now even if it won’t be official for 2-3 weeks. It is a doggy dog world. Miami got Don Shula when the disgruntled owner of the Colts left the country. I would say that move worked out ok. Ross needs to start pulling out the stops right now. Harbaugh is not returning to the 49ners don't be passive if you want him!
On a similar note if Harbaugh is not the guy and he is interested in Rex Ryan, it just so happens he will be in Miami the last game of the season. Maybe, he would prefer to have an extended stay there? Again the Jets are not keeping Ryan, if you want him don't be passive.
This is Steven Ross's chance to be the man that gets deals done and not look like a buffon in a bow tie.