Coach Jim Harbaugh, who earlier this month lobbied for a better contract for top assistant Vic Fangio, got exactly that Tuesday when the defensive coordinator received a raise and an extension from the 49ers.
Fangio’s contract, which was to expire after the 2014 season, now runs through 2015, which is when Harbaugh’s deal is scheduled to expire.
The new deal makes Fangio among the highest-paid coordinators in the league.
Fangio’s defenses have ranked fourth, third and fifth in the NFL since he took over in 2011. Those units ranked 13th, 15th and 13th in the three seasons before he arrived. Unlike his offensive counterpart, Greg Roman, Fangio has autonomy over the defense, and he also coaches the outside linebackers. He is the only coordinator in the league who also is in charge of a position group.
While protesting the notion he wanted to be the highest-paid head coach in the NFL, Harbaugh told Sports Illustrated earlier this month Fangio deserved more money: “He has not had a raise since he’s been here,” he said. “Focus on that.”
Defensive backs coach Ed Donatell also received a two-year extension earlier this month. Donatell has long been considered a candidate for defensive coordinator and would be a candidate to replace Fangio should he leave for a head-coaching job.
Meanwhile, wide receiver Mario Manningham, who signed as a free agent in 2012 with the 49ers after spending his first four seasons with the New York Giants, is returning to his old team. He reportedly signed a one-year contract.