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Did The 49ers Just Make A Huge Mistake By Letting Jim Harbaugh Walk Away?

Submitted by on December 29, 2014 – 2:14 pmNo Comment
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Jim Harbaugh took quarterback Alex Smith—a former No. 1 overall draft pick who was considered a bust by many—and turned him into a formidable NFL quarterback a few seasons ago. He also selected Colin Kaepernick in the draft and turned him into a starting quarterback in the league when many people believed he would be a career backup. And over the course of the last three seasons, Harbaugh led the San Francisco 49ers to two Super Bowls and came within one play of reaching another. So why then was he given his walking papers yesterday and told to take a hike?

Behind the scenes, Harbaugh reportedly feuded with some members of the 49ers’ front office. But in the NFL, where winning is important and losing gets you fired, it’s still kind of crazy to see Harbaugh on the outs after all that he achieved with the Niners. Outside of this season, which was a bit of a disaster for the team, Harbaugh was largely successful with San Francisco and turned them into a true title contender. Before he arrived, they were a team that was stuck in the basement in the NFC West year in and year out and didn’t appear to be headed anywhere. But he turned the team around almost instantaneously and helped them gain respect around the league.

With that in mind, firing Harbaugh was one of the worst things that the 49ers could have done right now. It might help things in the front office and cut down on some of the tension within the 49ers’ facility. But it’s going to be difficult for the front office to sell the idea of winning championships to the rest of the team when they just allowed a guy who won lots of games for them to leave. It’s also going to be difficult to get some of the team’s players to buy into a new head coach’s system right away. And because of that, there’s a very good chance that the 49ers will struggle for a year or two before they get back on to the right track and start winning again. So we can’t help but wonder why the 49ers would let a guy like Harbaugh go, especially when you consider everything that he did for the franchise over the last few years.

Do you think the 49ers make a huge mistake by letting Harbaugh walk? Or do you think they needed to get rid of Harbaugh because of whatever behind-the-scenes friction existed?

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