Friday, February 28, 2014

John Madden: If needed, 49ers should choose Harbaugh over Baalke

The recent revelation of a trade bid by the Browns for 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has renewed discussion about the uncertain future for Harbaugh in San Francisco.

Contract demands play a big role in that uncertainty, but so does talk of friction between Harbaugh and General Manager Trent Baalke. John Madden offered them some advice during a radio interview this week if push comes to shove and the 49ers reach the point of moving forward without one or the other. It probably shouldn’t come as much surprise that the former head coach is siding with the current one.

“You tell me where they’re going to get a guy that’s any better than him?” Madden said on KCBS. “It’s a lot easier to get a suit than it is to get a coach.”

Madden coached in a different time, when the guys in suits didn’t have to deal with the salary cap and other issues that make them perhaps more vital to a team’s success than they were 30-plus years ago. In Al Davis, Madden also worked for a guy whose suits tended to be of the track variety and whose power in the organization was tough to question given the fact that he owned the team.

Regardless, he thinks the 49ers should prioritize keeping Harbaugh. We’ll see if things escalate to a point where the 49ers have to consider Madden’s advice.

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