Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh remains the top choice of the 49ers to replace the fired Mike Singletary as head coach. In fact, there are rumors that owner Jed York is willing to offer Harbaugh an overall package of $40 million. But one serious hang-up for Harbaugh is York’s interest in promoting Trent Baalke to general manager. Baalke’s promotion could be a deal breaker. Harbaugh would prefer to have the NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi as his right-hand man handling personnel. Lombardi, who had success in Philadelphia and Oakland, started his personnel career in San Francisco under Bill Walsh. He and Harbaugh are great friends.
If Harbaugh does get a great financial deal from the 49ers, you can bet that his brother, John, will be interested in the final numbers. The Ravens head coach is heading to the playoffs for a third consecutive season and is deserving of a raise — or at least Jim Harbaugh money. The 49ers have four pending free agents among their defensive starters; linebackers Takeo Spikes and Manny Lawson, Aubrayo Franklin and safety Dashon Goldson. “This probably will be the last time that we're together as a whole,” Spikes said. The 49ers will also want to reduce CB Nate Clements’ $7.5 million salary for next season.