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Jim Harbaugh: Colin Kaepernick deal 'a high priority'

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Amid a sea of sharply dressed NFL owners and coaches, San Francisco 49ers Jim Harbaugh stood in the hallway of the Ritz Carlton with his trademark khakis and pullover, looking confused.


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"Should I have not stopped here?" Harbaugh asked the growing throng of reporters. "I feel like I should have not stopped moving feet."

It was too late. Harbaugh was affable in a session with reporters, perhaps because he's already answered all the questions about his future employment. Now he just wants to secure quarterback Colin Kaepernick's future as well.

"The priority is that Colin Kaepernick is a San Francisco 49er for however long we can have him be a San Francisco 49er," Harbaugh said when asked about giving Kaepernick a new contract this offseason. "It's definitely a high priority."

Harbaugh cited Kaepernick's competitiveness as one reason why the 49ers need to keep him around.

"I'll give you an anecdote," Harbaugh said. "There's really no one that can compete with him in a workout situation. He will bury everybody. And when someone tries to compete with him, he just ramps his competitiveness up. And then someone is over on a knee throwing up. He's unbelievable."

Some other nuggets from Harbaugh's session:

» No surprise: Harbaugh supports the "NaVorro Bowman Rule" that was proposed by the Competition Committee. The owners will vote on whether to expand replays to include the recovery of a loose ball in the field of play. Harbaugh called it a "loophole" that officials couldn't review the play in the NFC Championship Game in which Bowman was injured while recovering a fumble. Harbaugh expects the rule to pass.

» Harbaugh favors having the NFL office in New York help in replay reviews, believing it could help speed up the process.

» Harbaugh compared quarterback Blaine Gabbert to defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, another high draft pick who joined the 49ers. Harbaugh said Gabbert has a "powerful opportunity" to turn his career around.

"He has the ability now to say that wasn't me ... it was the situation," Harbaugh said.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" analyzes all the DeSean Jackson trade rumors, plays running back roulette and welcomes Lance Briggs to the studio.

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