The bizarre saga of Jim Harbaugh's supposed rift with the San Francisco 49ers has gone on for nearly two weeks, and no one is really sure whether there is a rift at all. In an interview with Michael Rosenberg of Sports Illustrated, Harbaugh tried to set the record straight and made it clear that he isn't after more money or power.
"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."
We don't know what the future holds beyond 2015, and in reality this serves mostly to hopefully quiet things down for the coming season. I'm sure this will rear its head again at some point with another volley of anonymous comments. For now though, the 49ers can hopefully head into free agency with this headache at least temporarily shelved.
The supposed strain between the 49ers and Harbaugh was documented in February with a report that the Cleveland Browns nearly made a trade for the coach. The trade would have sent "multiple draft picks to San Francisco" in exchange for Harbaugh, but the report was quickly denied by 49ers president Jed York.
Since then, the has been confirmed by many, including Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, that such a trade was discussed. It is is still unclear how far the negotiations actually went and how real the possibility was. Offseason flirtations are nothing new for Harbaugh. He has been included in several rumors throughout his time with the Stanford Cardinal and 49ers.
Most recently, the rumors have switched focus from Harbaugh's relocation to a rift between the team and their coach. On Monday, a report surfaced that Harbaugh's "act has worn thin" among players in the 49ers locker room.
Still, with three consecutive trips to the NFC Championship Game and a 36-11-1 regular season record, the folks at Niners Nation aren't too concerned about the Harbaugh's tenure with the team:
Even husbands and wives who are in love and live under the same roof will have terrible arguments. The key question to ask is: Are both parties are still achieving the purpose for which they came together? The answer in the case of the 49ers is: they are still winning, and that is what's going to keep Jim Harbaugh in San Francisco.
Harbaugh clarified in his Sports Illustrated interview that there is "zero chance" he leaves the team before the 2015 season. The five-year contract he signed to coach the team has two seasons remaining and is set to expire during the 2016 offseason.