Brown did not know til it was too late that the $2 million in 2013 salary would vanish if he failed to participate in the team's voluntary offseason conditioning program.
Tarell Brown Five-Year Glance
There's plenty of blame to go around, but as a head coach and former player, Harbaugh wants to have his players' backs. He also must serve the interests of management when it comes to the financial side. Coaches don't have blank checks from ownership.
Harbaugh stepped on the right side of that line Sunday when he suggested to reporters that he thought Brown deserves the lost money. He stopped short of saying for certain that no one in the organization knew Brown would lose the money. But he said he thought someone would have said something to Brown had the details come to mind.
Whether or not that is true, Harbaugh should score points in the locker room by expressing such a sentiment.
"I feel confident knowing that the people involved, had they known anything, then they would have brought that to attention," Harbaugh told reporters "Unfortunately, nobody caught it. That led to a real torpedo that nobody wanted to see happen."
These comments from Harbaugh indicate the 49ers will pay more than the $925,000 in base salary that is presently allotted for Brown. This situation appears headed toward a resolution.