NFL Rumors: 49ers’ Chaotic Offseason Could Lead to Jim Harbaugh Extension

Share
Jim Harbaugh

San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh. Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Scouting Combine provided us with more than just ravishing 40 times and speculation about who will be the top pick. Back in February, it was reported San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh was nearly traded to the Cleveland Browns during the combine amid a dispute with general manager Trent Baalke.

From there, the Niners’ offseason has taken a major turn for the worse

There’s the Aldon Smith issue. Last weekend, Smith was arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat at Los Angeles International Airport. It’s the latest in a series of troubling events for Smith, who has  been arrested twice for DUI, stabbed at his home, arrested on gun charges and involved in a car wreck during his time with the team.

We’re awaiting a resolution in the Colin Kaepernick case. Earlier this month, TMZ reported Kaepernick is being investigated by the Miami Police on sexual assault charges. Kaepernick was supposed to make headlines because of a contract extension this offseason, but that has clearly been put on hold.

Add in that former fifth-round pick, guard Daniel Kilgore, was arrested for public intoxication this year. And cornerback Chris Culliver was accused of allegedly hitting a cyclist and leaving the scene

Then there’s the fact that the team is trying to make up for recent personnel whiffs in the draft. Baalke picks of A.J. Jenkins and LaMichael James have not panned out. Jenkins, who was taken in the first round, is now a member of the Kansas City Chiefs. James is currently on the trade block.

Because the 49ers’ chaotic offseason, Pro Football Talk suggests the team can try and reverse the team’s fortunes by making a positive splash in the form of extending Harbaugh’s deal. Harbaugh is entering the fourth of a five-year deal with the team, and locking up the coach over the long haul would give San Francisco some much-needed good news.

If the team elects to extend Harbaugh’s contract, that might leave Baalke in the market for a new job. If the rumors are true and Harbaugh and Baalke do not have a working relationship, it’s hard to imagine the two can continue to co-exist over the foreseeable future. Baalke has delivered some marquee talent during his time as GM, but almost as many players with off-the-field trouble. Harbaugh has lifted the 49ers to the NFC Championship game each of the last four years, including a Super Bowl appearance back in 2012.

Sam Spiegelman is a native New Yorker covering sports in New Orleans. He likes Game of Thrones way too much. Tweet him @samspiegs.