Niners negotiating with Harbaugh via press?

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! As they prepare for what figures to be their last game at Candlestick Park on Monday night (against Atlanta), there are hints of trouble in San Francisco.

Either that, or the Niners are using the media to negotiate a contract extension with coach Jim Harbaugh.

Although Harbaugh has turned what had become a laughingstock back into a perennial overdog - going 47-13-1 (including playoffs) over three seasons - there's talk of tension between him and GM Trent Baalke, among others.

Harbaugh's responses to questions about his relationship with Baalke aren't too convincing, and also this week, there's been talk of whether the Longhorns job would interest him.

According to both Adam Schefter and Mike Florio, the Niners would not prevent Harbaugh from taking the Texas job.

However, that may just be posturing on their part, so as not to give the coach more leverage in contract negotiations.

Jason Cole cites multiple sources who say Harbaugh has no desire to take the gig at Texas or any other college.

Harbaugh is in the third year of a five-year contract worth $25M, and it's said that the Niners plan to give him a raise, and soon.

Broncos

Videos: BTV on Thursday's practice; John Fox, Jack Del Rio, Adam Gase, Champ Bailey, and several others speak afterward; NFL Films previews the matchup.

Terrance Knighton says Jeremy Mincey's orientation has been relatively seamless, given his familiarity with Knighton and JDR.

After last Thursday's dud, there are concerns about the effectiveness of Denver's running game and run defense.

Doug Farrar thinks the Broncos' remaining defensive line depth is their biggest question heading into the postseason.

PFF: Julian Carpenter is anxious to see Louis Vasquez take on J.J. Watt, and he wonders which version of Champ Bailey we'll see; David Bruton is Rick Drummond's second choice for the league's best special teamer.

It's no surprise that Jeff Legwold is far more interested in counting numbers than rate stats.

Texans

Houston interviewed Lovie Smith for their head gig earlier in the week, is reportedly interested in Bill O'Brien and Ken Whisenhunt, and will also allow Wade Phillips to interview.

Rookie Dennis Johnson will make his first career start at running back on Sunday, with Arian Foster and Ben Tate on IR.

Gil Brandt thinks the Texans have several options with how to address the QB situation this offseason.

News

Green Bay is expected to again sit Aaron Rodgers this week against Pittsburgh.

Washington placed TE Jordan Reed (concussion) on IR; Mini Shanny fired back at claims his assistants are inept cronies and claims he doesn't want to spin off from his dad.

Analysis

Mike Tanier, Burke/Farrar, Judy BattistaTony Gervino, and Drew Magary preview the week's games.

All-22: Chris Burke on San Diego WR Keenan Allen; Bucky Brooks on the Niners offense.

Jim Trotter thinks it would be foolish for Oakland to fire Dennis Allen after just two seasons, especially given how much his players respect him.

Richard Deitsch has seen a lot of growth from Shannon Sharpe as a studio analyst this year.

KSK: Tonight marks the 10th anniversary of the Namath/Kolber interview that gave KSK its name; PFT Commenter analyzes his favorite internet comment ever.

Maths

Based upon the ANS efficiency model, Denver is an 89% favorite to win the AFCW, 88% to land a bye, and 74% for HFA.

While Eli Manning is unlikely to tie or break Vinny Testaverde's single-season interception mark, but when adjusted for eras, he's one of the most pick-happy QBs in history.

I have no clue why Bill Barnwell is surprised to learn that the Ravens have been nearly impossible to beat in Baltimore over the years.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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