Free agent wide receiver Anquan Boldin announced on Monday that he was returning to the San Francisco 49ers. Despite the fact that the team has been close to a championship level the last three seasons, the situation to which Boldin returns contains some unrest.
The reason is reported unhappiness with the ways of head coach Jim Harbaugh. It all started when the football world learned that the 49ers might have explored trading Harbaugh to the Cleveland Browns, and then it was rumored that players in the locker room were getting tired of his ‘act.’
Upon making his decision Monday, Boldin denied any such troubles with Harbaugh, praising the head coach as one of the reasons he re-signed with San Francisco (quotes from ProFootballTalk):
He had a big role in me coming back. You know, he’s a guy I had a real good relationship with…
…I don’t think anybody in the locker room, you know, has an issue with Coach Harbaugh. The way our locker room is built, I mean, we have an open-door policy…There have been times we have voiced our concerns as players, and Coach Harbaugh has listened to us and taken into consideration how we felt as players.
I don’t think there’s any rift between players and coaches, particularly Coach Harbaugh. Like I said, he has a great rapport with all of the guys that I know of. I heard of no griping in the locker room when it comes to Coach Harbaugh.”
Given the mileage that we get out of NFL stories this Harbaugh thing is not going away, but having a veteran voice like Boldin speak up might quiet some of the drama.