Head coach Jim Harbaugh brought the San Francisco 49ers plenty of success. The head coach took the team to three straight NFC Championship games while reaching the Super Bowl before being defeated by the Baltimore Ravens. However, after missing the playoffs and finishing 8-8 on the year, Harbaugh will not be returning to San Francisco despite having one more year remaining on his contract. With Harbaugh out, what happens to several free agents the 49ers have?
The San Francisco 49ers have announced they are mutually parting ways with Harbaugh and the team would immediately begin a search for a new head coach. ESPN is reporting that Harbaugh is expected to be named the head coach of the University of Michigan, but several other NFL teams like the Oakland Raiders and Chicago Bears are expected to try and make a run before a decision is made.
Harbaugh certainly brought the team plenty of success to San Francisco. The head coach got them multiple years of postseason success along with bringing out Colin Kaepernick. Frank Gore told the media that he played his best years under Harbaugh while tight end Vernon Davis had nothing but praise for the head coach. However, Harbaugh will not be back and while general manager Trent Baalke works out his replacement, several players have their futures up in the air.
Gore admits that he might have played his last game in San Francisco. The running back's contract is expiring and the 49ers already have Carlos Hyde and Kendall Hunter in place to step up. Gore notes that he would love to return to the 49ers, but is not sure it will happen.
"I want to be back here. I was raised here man," Gore said, via the Sacramento Bee. "I want to play football. I'm signing up to play football. So I want to play football. And I feel like I still can play."
Gore is not the only one potentially leaving. Wide receiver Michael Crabtree could also not be returning as his contract expires. Crabtree's production took a dip this season as he found himself as the No. 3 option for Kaepernick. The wide receiver put up just 698 yards and four touchdowns on the season. He believes the sky is the limit for him whether that is with San Francisco or not.
"I feel like the sky is the limit for me," Crabtree said. "I'm just taking it one day at a time. I can't wait to see what's next, the next chapter in my career. I'm going to go hard every day. I'm going to go hard every year and just try to maximize my talent."
Other players like Aldon Smith and Vernon Davis will also be looking for more money in the offseason. It is clear that Hyde, Stevie Johnson and Anquan Boldin are more favored for the future which hurts other's contract negotiations.