Jim Harbaugh doesn't want to be the highest paid coach in the NFL. Jim Harbaugh isn't leaving San Francisco before his contract expires and Jim Harbaugh doesn't want more power. How do we know all of that? Because Jim Harbaugh said so.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, the 49ers coach felt compelled to comment on things that he rarely comments on, like his contract. Harbaugh was asked if he could envision himself leaving San Francisco before his five-year year deal with the 49ers expires at the end of the 2015 season.
"No," Harbaugh said. "Zero opportunity or chance of that in my mind."
If something holds up a possible extension between the 49ers and Harbaugh, it doesn't sound like it will be money. Harbaugh seemed to scoff at the notion that he wants to be the league's highest-paid coach, he also said he has "plenty of money."
"I get paid extremely well," Harbaugh said. "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."
According to the San Jose Mercury News, Harbaugh and his agent said last summer that they would be shelving extension talks unless the team made Harbaugh the "NFL's top-paid coach."
Someone who might not be making enough money, according to Harbaugh, is defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Harbaugh said the front office should focus on giving Fangio more money.
"He has not had a raise since he's been here," Harbaugh said. "Focus on that."
The third-year 49ers coach also said he's not in a power struggle with general manager Trent Baalke.
"I have never said that [I want more power], nor do I want any more power than I have," Harbaugh said. "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're both demanding and we want to be accountable for ourselves, for each other," Harbaugh said of Baalke. "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."
Harbaugh also added that he communicates with Baalke regularly, "We talk daily, hourly."
As for the report he was almost traded to Cleveland? .
"There was never any opportunity to leave the San Francisco 49ers," he said. "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."
Harbaugh has now spoken. The question is, does this clear things up or make them murkier?