Jan 20, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; San Francisco 49ers former owner Eddie DeBartolo (right) and co-chair Denise DeBartolo York (left) present the trophy for the NFC Championship game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. The 49ers won 28-24. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Former 49ers' owner DeBartolo talks Harbaugh contract

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San Francisco 49ers’ head coach Jim Harbaugh has been the subject of widespread rumors in recent days.  With the departure of high profile coaches – Texas’ Mack Brown for example – Harbaugh’s name has been included as a possible candidate to fill that position, and others.

He is in the third year of a five year contract that pays him $5 million as the average annual value, but former 49ers’ owner Eddie DeBartolo thinks it’s time for CEO Jed York to lock things up long term, according to a report from CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco.

“But like all great coaches, you get to a period of time and . . . Bill (Walsh) was that way, even George (Seifert) was that way,” DeBartolo said. “They get wound really, really tight. And there is a certain period of time when you get a burn out. Some coaches, it’s earlier. Some coaches, it’s later. And some coaches don’t have it.”

The legendary Walsh went 21-27 through his first three seasons as 49ers’ head coach.  He did win a Super Bowl in his third season – and two others after that.  Seifert inherited the team from Walsh in 1989 and went 38-10 in his first three seasons – winning a Super Bowl in his first and sixth.  Harbaugh came to the 49ers from Stanford, like Walsh, and has guided San Francisco to a Super Bowl berth – their first since 1994 – and has gone 33-11 so far.

More than that, Harbaugh has led San Francisco back to prominence in the NFL.  Locking him up to a long-term contract has to be a priority, according to DeBartolo.

“I think it’s important that he gets things tied up,” DeBartolo said. “And we talked yesterday and I think they’re well on their way of getting it done.”

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