Jim Harbaugh said he's resisted discussing his future with the 49ers for the last 12 months and he won't start now. But, boy, he seemed like he wanted to at one point during his Monday press conference.
Asked if it's been hard to resist firing back amid the stream of anonymous reports about his status with the team, Harbaugh paused, smiled and said, “Yeah, that's a good question.” Then he chuckled. “That's a good question,” he repeated before his judgment told him it's better to stay away from the topic. “The high road's the only road I know,” he said. “I'll keep on that.”
After a follow-up question, he had reverted to his opaque self. “I think we've covered the ground pretty well,” he said
The 49ers' season finale is widely believed to be Harbaugh's final game with the team despite the fact that he has one more year remaining on his contract. When the season ends, he is expected to sit down with team owner Jed York and discuss how the two want to part ways.
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The 49ers are expected to try to deal Harbaugh to another NFL team and will attempt to get a draft pick or picks as compensation. That, however, will be impossible should Harbaugh decide he'd rather coach at his alma mater, the University of Michigan, which reportedly is offering him $48 million over six years.
On Sunday, FOX Sports' Jay Glazer reported that Michigan already has contacted the 49ers about their interest in Harbaugh and that his tenure with the 49ers will be resolved within 24-48 hours of the 49ers season ending. Harbaugh declined to address that report, too.
“Well, as you know, I've not participated in any of these speculations and unnamed sources, the rumors, I would ask you to have Jay Glazer go back and ask his sources for more clarification,” he said. … “I haven't participated and I don't intend to now. And this has been a good 12 months of this kind of thing. No reason to start now.”
Harbaugh turns 51 Tuesday. The 49ers' coach, whose sanctuary is a football practice field, said the ultimate gift would be to have an excellent day of practice in the run-up to Sunday's finale against the Cardinals.
“We know this is going to be the last week of the season, and I'm going to enjoy it, enjoy all the players,” he said. “Enjoy the coaches, enjoy the staff, enjoy all the people in the building I really enjoy being around, the front-office people, the entire organization. Spend time with the scouts who are in town – everybody.”
As for his future beyond Sunday? “What will happen will happen; and what won't happen, won't happen,” he said.
Reid concussion update -- Harbaugh said safety Eric Reid will see a neurologist today after suffering a concussion in Saturday’s game, his third in two years.
“Again, that’s in the hands of the doctors, et cetera,” Harbaugh said. “Concerned? Yes.”
Craig Dahl would start at free safety if Reid can’t play in Sunday’s finale against the Cardinals. Two other injured 49ers starters, cornerback Perrish Cox (shoulder) and linebacker Aldon Smith (head) returned to the game. Harbaugh said Smith did not suffer a concussion.
Harbaugh suggested the team, which already has 16 players on injured reserve, may have to make more roster moves this week in order to have enough healthy players against Arizona, but he did not specify what those moves may be.
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.