49ers and head coach Jim Harbaugh have agreed to mutually part ways, reports Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports 1 (via Twitter). Harbaugh has coached his last game for the team, and is now free to pursue other employment.
Harbaugh was clear in his post-game press conference that he would not be returning in 2015, but allowed room for the team to release their statement before making any announcement himself, according to Dylan DeSimone of CSNAuthentic.com (via Twitter).
49ers’ CEO Jed York made a statement regarding the situation, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN (via Twitter). “Jim and I have come to the conclusion that it is in our mutual best interest to move in different directions.” York is now looking towards his next coach, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com (via Twitter). “We are now squarely focused on finding next head coach of 49ers … confident in Trent’s ability to lead that process.”
The 49ers are no longer responsible for paying the remainder of his contract, according to Garafolo (via Twitter). Of course, the team is also no longer entitled to compensation should Harbaugh take another NFL job.
Matt Miller of Bleacher Report remarks that the only way the 49ers would let him out of his contract is if he was going to Michigan for sure (via Twitter). He believes the team would not have agreed to this if there was a chance he would go to Oakland or another NFL team.
In response to questions about the Michigan job, Harbaugh announced that there will be an announcement made regarding his future, according to Dan Murphy of ESPN (via Twitter). Regarding whether he would miss the NFL if he left, Harbaugh was non-committal according to Nick Baumgardner of MLive Media Group (via Twitter). Harbaugh simply replied, “Is the NFL going somewhere?”