Boldin: 'I don't think anybody in our locker room has issue with Harbaugh'
"We're partners on the same team. I have great respect for him. He works extremely hard at it and is very good at it." -- Jim Harbaugh on Trent Baalke (USATI)
Jim Harbaugh’s contract issue is no issue for Jim Harbaugh, according to none other than Jim Harbaugh.
Harbaugh said in an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Michael Rosenberg that he has no problems with his pay, the way his contract is being handled or with 49ers general manager Trent Baalke.
When asked if he envisions a scenario in which he leaves the 49ers before the expiration of his contract, Harbaugh answered, "No. Zero opportunity or chance of that in my mind."
Of course, Harbaugh’s future with the 49ers became a discussion point less than two weeks ago when Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said there was an “opportunity” to acquire Harbaugh from the 49ers.
San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York said the 49ers were not interested in pursuing a trade with the Browns. And Harbaugh told CSNBayArea.com that a report of trade discussions were “ridiculous.”
Said Harbaugh, “There was never any opportunity to leave the San Francisco 49ers. If that existed, it existed in somebody else's mind, not mine. I am too fond of my team, the players, the coaches. I really feel like we have one of the best, if not the best organizations in football."
Multiple reports, including from CSNBayArea.com, stated that Harbaugh and the 49ers did not reach an agreement on a contract extension last off-season because Harbaugh was asking for more than what the 49ers were willing to offer.
"I see all these reports about how I want to be the highest-paid coach in football," Harbaugh said to Rosenberg. "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.”
Harbaugh is entering the fourth year of the five-year, $25 million contract he signed in January of 2011.
Rosenberg asked Harbaugh, “When is the right time to talk about an extension?”
Harbaugh answered, “I don't know. What I do know is this: I make plenty of money. And I don't do five times as much work as any other coach on the staff. I get paid extremely well. Jed York has always been square dealing with me. I don't think about that as an issue ... I've seen it written like fact: 'Harbaugh wants to be the highest paid coach in football', or 'desperately covets a new contract'. For the record: I make plenty of money. I mean, plenty of money.
"It's a principle to me that you never negotiate contracts in the press," he added. "It doesn't benefit anybody to do it publicly. I'm making this exception in talking to you right now and saying I'm not trying to get more money for myself. But I make plenty of money. I have plenty of security. If we have the highest-paid assistant coaches in football, the best coaches in football, I strive for that. Guilty as charged there."
Harbaugh, who denied seeking more power in 49ers personnel decisions, also dismissed reports of tension with Baalke.
"We're both demanding and we want to be accountable for ourselves, for each other," Harbaugh said. "If you haven't had a brother, you probably don't understand the relationship between the GM and the head coach. We're partners on the same team. I have great respect for him. He works extremely hard at it and is very good at it. We are all part of a team. I believe in the structure we have. I don't want to change anything that we do in that regard."