Jim Harbaugh Says His 49ers Departure ‘Wasn’t A Mutual Decision’

Jim Harbaugh wants everyone to know his departure from the San Francisco 49ers wasn’t a mutual decision. Harbaugh dropped the bombshell about the fact that it wasn’t a mutual decision on Friday, adding that he didn’t leave the 49ers, but rather the 49ers left him. The admission comes just a month after Jim Harbaugh left the NFL in order become the head coach of his alma mater, the Michigan Wolverines.

The revelation that Harbaugh’s departure wasn’t a mutual decision might raise some eyebrows, considering that as the NFL season was winding to a close, there were more than a few reports that the former Stanford Cardinal head coach was looking to get out of the Bay area. Still, speaking to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News on a podcast, the coach said that the team fired him and he didn’t want to leave.

This seems to be a direct contradiction to the narrative the team put out there immediately following a Week 17 game against the Arizona Cardinals. During that press release, the franchise said the two sides had agreed to part ways, making it seem as though the split was entirely amicable. During the podcast, Jim Harbaugh said that while it wasn’t a mutual decision, he also wasn’t going to put San Francisco in a position where they were dealing with a coach they didn’t want anymore.

What this revelation does confirm is that things had gotten really bad between Harbaugh and the front office. It seems as though the relationship had deteriorated to the point that even if the 49ers had managed to have a better season, the franchise would likely still have been looking for a new head coach. The really interesting part of all of this is that his talking about it makes it seem as though Michigan isn’t his first choice of venues.

One has to wonder how Wolverines fans are going to feel about their current head coach, who hasn’t even gone through an entire season with the team yet, already talking about why he left and the fact that he didn’t want to. Of course, saying it wasn’t a mutual decision might just be his way of getting a final shot in at the people he was feuding with almost since the 2014 season began.

[Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images]