49ers GM: Tension with Jim Harbaugh is ‘overblown’


San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke responded Friday to the reports that their is tension between he and head coach Jim Harbaugh.

“That’s all overblown. It’s no different than it’s been since Day 1,” Baalke said on his weekly radio show on 95.7 The Game, per the San Jose Mercury News. “I think every relationship changes to a certain degree. But it’s very professional. He’s got a job to do. I’ve got a job to do. We try to do that together and we do it well together.

“It’s not just the two of us. There’s so many people that are involved in decisions and everything else that goes on here. So many people that have been involved in the success of this organization over time. So I think people like to focus on (potential tension with Harbaugh), but in my opinion it’s way overblown.”

49ers CEO Jed York acknowledged during his radio appearance on KNBR-AM Wednesday that Baalke and Harbaugh “butt heads,” but that Harbaugh has never asked for more control of personnel.

He’s never asked for that, he’s never intimated any of that,” York said, via The Sacramento Bee. “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 has two years remaining on his original five-year, $25 million contract.  York said he will discuss Habaugh’s contract with him at the end of the season.

“Now’s not the right time to get into a deep contract discussion,” said York. “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.”

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