The San Francisco 49ers have been to the NFC Championship Game in all three years of Jim Harbaugh's tenure. However, the team is still without a Super Bowl ring during that time and now it appears that problems are surfacing, according to Ian Rapoport.
Harbaugh's dedication to the team has reportedly come into question and with two years remaining on his contract, Rapoport still wonders whether Harbaugh will be around to finish it out.
"There is some serious doubts about whether Harbaugh is actually all in like he professes," Rapoport told NFL Media's Rich Eisen. "He says he is about the team, the team, the team. The players now wonder, is that actually the case?
"They have dealt with a lot over the last couple years. Some of the way he's treated them, some lack of respect. And all because they are winning, they are fine with it, but some of the players wonder, if they lose, will it all spiral out of control?"
Why it might be true
This is not the first time we have heard about issues involving Harbaugh with the organization. During the offseason, there was plenty of talk about Harbaugh's unhappy relationship with general manager Trent Baalke. It had been reported that Harbaugh was almost on the move, headed to the Cleveland Browns before the team went elsewhere.
No coach has ever been to a conference championship game three consecutive years to begin his pro football career, but Harbaugh still might be on the hot seat. If the 49ers get off to a slow start, does everything fall apart like a house of cards? Harbaugh has a very abrasive, in-your-face style. Undoubtedly, he has rubbed some of his players the wrong way.
Why it might not be true
Harbaugh has recorded a 41-14-1 mark in his first three seasons, only bested by George Seifert in league history. Even if the players aren't a huge fan of Harbaugh, it is ultimately about winning and it can't be disputed that Harbaugh is one of the elite men in the league.
While plenty has come out in reports, no players have actually gone on record having a problem with Harbaugh. Until that happens, everything is pure speculation and anonymous quotes.
Likelihood (1-10): 6
Usually when there is smoke, fire is soon to follow. Harbaugh has been having issues with the 49ers for quite some time and might be a short losing streak away from things completely coming undone. Harbaugh might be ripe for a tough year thanks to a tough NFC West and injuries to defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey and All-Pro inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman, along with a nine-game suspension to Aldon Smith.
If Harbaugh was relieved of his duties at any point this season or at the end of it, the 49ers job would be the most coveted position in years. With a bevy of talent on board, coaches would be lining up for the opportunity.