Way back before Week 1, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport was already raising doubts over whether Jim Harbaugh would be back in San Francisco 49ers next year.
Doubts about Harbaugh have continued all season, and by mid-November Rapoport reported it would be a surprise if Harbaugh returned to San Francisco, and that going to the Oakland Raiders was a legitimate possibility. Now that Harbaugh and the 49ers are nearly out of the playoff race, we're just counting down to a breakup.
"Divorce is inevitable," NFL Media's Michael Silver said Sunday on NFL GameDay Morning.
It's been a long, awkward road to get here.
"This is a divorce that a lot of us have seen coming since that surreal day at the combine that we learned that the Cleveland Browns and 49ers had had talks about a potential trade for Jim Harbaugh," Silver said. "We've seen in recent NFL history that when a coach seems to be on his way out, it doesn't usually go well. Bill Cowher in Pittsburgh, John Fox in Carolina being some examples. Jim Harbaugh had those players rallied like they were a group in a fight together.
"It's been individualized in the last year. Players have wondered if Jim Harbaugh is more about himself. The pistol offense disappeared, where Colin Kaepernick was so successful. Why? Was that about credit, or was it about trying to win games? And you've got a coach clearly who is dissatisfied in bosses who aren't going to the mat for him. Divorce is inevitable."
In many ways, Sunday's game in Seattle is Harbaugh's last stand. This has been a wildly successful four-year run for Harbaugh, but it's going to leave a bitter aftertaste like the excruciating playoff defeats of the last few years.
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