The 49ers ‘Might Have To Decide Between Harbaugh Or GM Trent Baalke…’ Huh?

  • Matt Rudnitsky

The San Francisco 49ers made the NFC Championship the past three years, have a young, promising quarterback, a ton of draft picks and a talented roster. Virtually all NFL teams would trade places with them. They’re in very good shape. I have never heard a bad word about their GM, Trent Baalke, and everybody seems to agree that Jim Harbaugh is one of the best coaches in the NFL.

Which is why the report about the Cleveland Browns trying to trade for Harbaugh seemed laughable. Sure, I get why the Browns would ask about him — it’s like being a fat old man and approaching a hot, young female at a bar. You gotta ask, right? She might have a fat old man fetish. The Niners might get off by helping the Browns. Harbaugh might like that kinky shit where your quarterback is Brandon Weeden.

The 49ers denied the report. The Browns’ owner confirmed it. So, yeah, it sounds like discussions were had. Weird. But still, nothing happened. People discuss lots of things. I bet Obama has discussed giving Miley Cyrus the death penalty. That doesn’t mean he’ll actually do it.

But today, shit got even weirder, according to a report by Jason LaCanfora of CBSSports.

Things are not getting better behind the scenes for the San Francisco 49ers. There was a persistent rumble throughout the combine about the extent of the rift between coach Jim Harbaugh and the team’s front office. It doesn’t seem like it will go away, and there is increasing buzz that the team might have to decide between Harbaugh or GM Trent Baalke.

Wait, what? Where the hell did this come from?

The men are barely speaking, I’m told, and almost all communication is through email. Harbaugh also has a strained relationship with team president Paraag Marathe, sources said, and he has clashed with many within the organization. It could prove untenable. If anything, the impression I got this week was that the situation there is actually much worse than how it has been portrayed in the media, and helps explain the delay in giving a new deal to the coach, who has two years left on a contract he has outperformed.

That sounds genuinely bad. What the hell do you do if you’re the 49ers? Your GM built a deep, enviable team with a promising future, and your coach has done well. Both could be replaced without a huge negative hit, but why the fuck are you messing with something that’s working so well? Then again, if things are that bad… who do you get rid of? I guess that a coaching change would be more of a short-term hit, but a GM change would probably be more destructive long-term, unless you make the perfect hire. Either way: Bad news.

This story is really weird. I have no idea what will happen. But it sounds like they need to act now. Either start fixing the strained relationships, or cut ties with someone. This is the sort of thing that could get ugly down the road.

Photo via

[CBS Sports]