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Jim Harbaugh: Focus on the Field, Not on Contract

Posted Aug 1, 2014

The San Francisco 49ers head coach commented on a report that he and the team would delay negotiations on a new deal until after the 2014 season.

Based on Jim Harbaugh's 36-11-1 regular-season record over the last three seasons, it's easy to understand why the San Francisco 49ers would like their coach to be under contract for more than the next two.

But Harbaugh isn't looking past year four of his original five-year deal.

"As I stated on the record these past months, this past week, all focus is on the 2014 season and achieving our goals," Harbaugh said before Friday evening's training camp practice. "I feel now the organization and I are in lockstep and all energy, all focus is on achieving our goals."

Harbaugh was responding to reporters' questions about team CEO Jed York's decision to delay negotiations until after the 2014 season.

"We actually just had this conversation (Wednesday)," York told Jim Kozimor of Yahoo! SportsTalk Live on Thursday. "Lots of people were talking to him about it. We just said, 'You know what, let's not do anything during the season. Let's sit down a week or so after the season is over and let everybody know we're not focused on anything that's off the field right now.'

"Jim and I will sit down a week or so after the season is over and we'll figure out where we go."

York also said that it would possibly be easier to hammer out a deal with his coach after another successful season, perhaps a Super Bowl title.

"Like I've said publicly and very loudly in the past," York said. "I hope he has the utmost leverage when we sit down and talk about his contract at the end of the season."

Harbaugh, too, said he preferred to not discuss his contract until a more appropriate time.

"Just my feeling, my principle, just a value, as the leader of the team," he said, "if I’m running in for a contract extension every couple years, it has a tendency to send everybody else running for the water cooler.

"All focus is on the 2014 season and accomplishing our goals. I understand (media) speculation. I think you can afford to be out in front of your headlights more than we can."