SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – At least two veteran NFL insiders report that the San Francisco 49ers will likely explore trading head coach Jim Harbaugh in the offseason.
Adam Schefter of ESPN and Jay Glazer of FOX Sports report that, even if the team takes a nosedive, Harbaugh will stick around until the end of the season. At that point, Glazer says the 49ers plan on trading their head coach for a draft pick.
Schefter says that if Harbaugh is traded, the Jets and the Raiders are likely to inquire about his price. One source tells Schefter that the Raiders should be considered the favorites to strike a deal. Harbaugh was the quarterbacks coach in Oakland during the 2002-2003 seasons.
Earlier this year, NFL commentators and former 49er players Deion Sanders and Trent Dilfer said Harbaugh had lost the locker room and the trust of his players, stirring a new round of speculation about his future with the team he has led to the NFC Championship Game every year as head coach.
Harbaugh will have a year left on his five year, $25 million contract when the season ends. Glazer has been criticized for saying throughout the year that Harbaugh is likely gone no matter how well the team does on the field. In October, CEO Jed York denied that such a move was in the works.
A year ago, ProFootballTalk reported that the 49ers considered trading Harbaugh to the Cleveland Browns in the offseason in exchange for draft picks. At the time, York denied that rumor as well.
It’s also believed that Harbaughs alma mater, the Michigan Wolverines, have interest in their former quarterback.