By nearly all accounts, Jim Harbaugh’s future with the San Francisco 49ers is nearing its end.
That was reported last week by Fox Sports and speculated by many other NFL reporters over the past year.
49ers general manager Trent Baalke would only say this week on his radio show that Harbaugh will meet with the organization’s brass early next week after Sunday’s season finale against the Arizona Cardinals.
That affects Michigan, which is pursuing Harbaugh for its coaching vacancy, because in some way he’ll need to be released from his 49ers contract, which has a year remaining.
Asked at Friday’s news conference if he would resign, Harbaugh wouldn’t say.
“It’s the same. We plowed that ground very thoroughly,” he said, referring to when he was asked about the postseason meetings earlier in the week. “What will happen will happen; what won’t happen, won’t happen.”
He was pressed and confirmed he wouldn’t give an answer.
For Michigan, it’s a waiting game at this point, though there is an advantage over potential NFL teams wanting his services. Those teams cannot speak to him or pursue him until he’s out of his 49ers contract or they get permission from the 49ers and there is no indication that has been given.
Baalke did confirm that Michigan has contacted the 49ers to talk about Harbaugh.
Even with the impending D-Day, Harbaugh was glad to talk about the game and what he’ll enjoy about Sunday.
“I’m going to enjoy the players that I really enjoy being around, I’m going to enjoy the coaches and have a lot of fun coaching this ballgame and want to win it,” he said of his team, which will miss the playoffs for the first time in his four seasons and is now 7-8. “I want our team to have the good feeling of winning and feel good about ourselves.”
Mark Snyder covers the Michigan Wolverines for the Detroit Free Press.