The San Francisco 49ers were one game away from the Super Bowl in 2013; now they want to ensure they retain the pieces needed to take the next step. First on the agenda is a new contract for head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Three key pieces of San Francisco's success are in need of new contracts, but the crown jewel is Harbaugh, who has already rejected one contract offer last year. Retaining his services could be more difficult that previously thought, but the 49ers will make it a priority, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
Harbaugh took over a talented but under-achieving team in 2011 and quickly turned it into one of the league's juggernauts. His steady hand at the helm created an organization based on defense and running the football, while showcasing the talents of young quarterback Colin Kaepernick -- who's also a focal point this offseason.
Florio believes the amount of money owed to Jim Harbaugh could largely be affected by his brother, John, who won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens.
The biggest impediment could be his financial expectations. With his brother, John, making in the neighborhood of $7 million in Baltimore, Jim may want as much or more. There's also speculation that Jim may want more say over personnel, given reports that emerged last season regarding friction between Harbaugh and G.M. Trent Baalke.
Personnel control is not something that's usually ceded by general managers and it's not uncommon for this to become a sticking point. Trent Baalke has been a long-standing facet of the organization and largely responsible for the talent currently on the roster because of his role as player personnel director from 2008-11, before he was promoted to general manager.
It's unclear whether there are problems behind the scenes or if it's speculation, but the key to San Francisco's long-term success lies in whether the band can be kept together. Money and power make things difficult and if there is friction, the situation will be one to watch this offseason.