Jed York today said that there's always going to be push and pull between an NFL general manager and a head coach, and he acknowledged that Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke "butt heads" from time to time. But on KNBR radio this morning the 49ers owner said that Harbaugh never has asked for more control of personnel and that he doesn't envision Harbaugh having more control in the future. As of now, Baalke has the final say on the team's roster.
"He's never asked for that, he's never intimated any of that," York said. "And it's easy to say, it's easy to speculate, 'Well, he was in college and he had full control and he wants full control here.' That sounds great until you actually get to reality. And Jim's never really ever asked for that. Now do we butt heads on players from time to time? Of course. That's what GMs and coaches do. But Jim knows that being a coach is a full-time job, and he has a lot of respect for the job that Trent has done. I mean you look at the folks we've added through the draft, free agency and trade - we're in a pretty good spot from a talent standpoint."
York continued: "And I've always said, you can have control in your contract, but if you can't sit down and actually talk something through, it really doesn't matter what your contract says. And I think that's where Jim and Trent are. They sit down and argue things out. And then they figure out, 'What's the best thing for the 49ers?' and let's move forward. And that's how I really see this team operating in the future and in perpetuity."
Harbaugh is reaching the end of the third year of a five-year, $25 million deal. He's the third-highest paid coach in the NFC West - behind Seattle's Pete Carroll and St. Louis' Jeff Fisher - and York has said that the two sides will sit down in the offseason to work out something better for Harbaugh.
"You can't really ask for a much better job than what he's done over the last two and a half seasons," York said. "Now's not the right time to get into a deep contract discussion. But he knows we want him here long term, and we'll sit down at the end of the season, we'll assess like we always do, and I definitely anticipate Jim being here for a long period of time."
-- Matt Barrows