Jim Harbaugh is constantly looking for ways to compete.
Without any more 2013 games, he's found a new way: keeping the 49ers roster intact for the 2014 season.
"I'm going to fight to keep our players," he said Tuesday afternoon.
Judging by the players' comments this week, they feel the same way.
TE VERNON DAVIS | Under Contract
"If we can keep everbody together, the majority of the guys that we have here now, then we will have a good shot at making it again."
S DONTE WHITNER | Free Agent
"I talked to coach Harbaugh, Vic Fangio, Ed Donatell, and everybody expressed that they want me back, but this is a business and sometimes players don't fit into what you want to do salary cap-wise. I'm not saying that's the case here. Hopefully, it's not and we can get something done, work something out. But we'll see.
"I did talk to Trent (Baalke). He expressed that he wants me back and that's as far as that conversation went.
"I think it goes on a player-by-player basis. You have to go based on what the players brings to the team, brings to the defense, brings to the offense. You have to go by, 'Is this guy a team leader, or is he just one of the guys?' So you go based on the player's worth. We'll see what happens."
S ERIC REID | Under Contract
Whitner coming back "would be huge for me. If you go through the archives and look at all the interviews I've done this year, I've always given him and the coaching staff the credit for molding me as a rookie. I honeslty could say that I don't I could have played as well as I played this year without him. He's been my mentor coming into the NFL. He gives that player's point of view. I couldn't have asked for a better guy to set the tone for my career."
RB ANTHONY DIXON | Free Agent
"It's my first time (being a free agent). I don't know what to expect. I'm lost in it myself. We'll see what happens."
"I definitely want to be here. This is all I know right now."
“I think I’ve put enough film out there to prove I’m a talented player.”
C JONATHAN GOODWIN | Free Agent
"In this day in age, with the salary cap and things like that, it's tough to keep teams together. You have your windows, opportunities to keep your players. Hopefully, there are ways to work around that and keep guys here. It would be nice to give these guys another shot."
"Deep down, I'm still willing to. What creates uncertainty for me is being a 35-year-old free agent, which in this time of the NFL, can be tough. If I get any offers, I'll sit down with my wife and agent and go from there."
LG MIKE IUPATI | Under Contract
Having Goodwin back "would be awesome. I hope and pray that he's back. It's a business. He has to take care of his family. If he doesn't come back, I think Daniel (Kilgore) will step up and play, take over.
"Not all of us are going to be together next year. Every year, it's tough.
"Next year is the last year of my contract, but who knows? I'd love to be back."
CB TARELL BROWN | Free Agent
Harbaugh “said he would fight hard to keep this group together, and I think he will. But it's hard with the salary cap, so many free agents and guys coming in, draft picks... it will definitely be difficult. They're doing a good job here of putting pieces together and making it work."
“I don’t know really know the (free-agent) process. I've never really done this before. I would love to come back. Like I spoke to my coaches, I enjoy playing with this group: the fight of these guys, the type of work they do during the week, the way guys prepare. It's special here. You can see that just by watching film, how guys fight for each other.”
LT JOE STALEY | Under Contract
“Teams change every year. We have a lot of talent on this team. We’ll be back.”