49ers coach Jim Harbaugh declines to discuss reports of contract offer to coach Michigan



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San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh yells from the sideline in the first half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)


SANTA CLARA, California — 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is declining to respond to reports that he is weighing an offer from Michigan to become the new football coach at his alma mater.

Harbaugh has one season remaining on the $25 million, five-year contract he signed in January 2011. Several media outlets, including ESPN and the NFL Network, have reported Harbaugh has a six-year offer on the table from the Wolverines to return to Ann Arbor.

"As you know, I'll only talk about the job that I have. We've been together a long time and it's a longstanding policy," Harbaugh said Thursday.

All season long, he has said he won't let outside issues affect him. His name has emerged as a possible candidate for what should be several NFL vacancies after the season if Harbaugh and the 49ers part ways, including to fill the job across the bay in Oakland.

San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke said this week that a decision on Harbaugh's future would come after the season. The Niners (7-7) were eliminated from playoff contention in last Sunday's 17-7 loss at Seattle, giving them their first three-game losing streak under Harbaugh. San Francisco had reached three straight NFC championship games, losing the Super Bowl after the 2012 season.

"Trent and I have discussions every day," Harbaugh said, noting he still intends to coach out his contract. "I have said that I'm going to finish this 'til the end. My focus is the same as the players' focus, the same as the coaches' focus, focused on the practice field, focused in meetings, by our players, by our coaches and by me."

Harbaugh said the 49ers still have plenty to play for in their final two games, Saturday at home against San Diego and next week hosting Arizona — like ending with a winning record.

Offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who worked on Harbaugh's staff at Stanford before joining him in the jump to the NFL, said everybody wants to end this season on a positive note despite all the outside chatter about the coach's future.

"We don't talk about that stuff at all. We're focused on the Chargers, all that water cooler talk is just that," Roman said.

When asked whether he still has a special affinity for the Michigan program and university, Harbaugh again wouldn't bite.

"Again, I really don't want to talk about any other job than the one I have or talk about anybody else's process," Harbaugh said.


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