What does that mean for the San Francisco 49ers?
It cannot be bad.
The Denver Broncos have said they're interested in Harbaugh. The 49ers have obviously expressed interest.
Returning to Stanford could be a more appealing option now that quarterback Andrew Luck has decided to skip the NFL draft. In that case, Harbaugh could be taking what amounts to a victory lap following a sensational season at Stanford, scanning the NFL landscape to give him a better feel for future opportunities.
The NFL's uncertain labor situation has put some teams in a holding pattern. Harbaugh might be able to leverage more lucrative opportunities next offseason, should stability improve. And if he enjoyed another strong season at Stanford, his prospects would only improve.
Harbaugh might have told himself he'll accept only the perfect opportunity, and that opportunity might not have presented itself.