More clouds form around 49ers' brass

Friction In San Francisco? (3:44)

Sal Paolantonio and Adam Schefter discuss the strained relationship between 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke. (3:44)

This was predictable.

In the aftermath of a bombshell report that the Cleveland Browns tried to trade for San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, there are aftershocks of the Browns’ ill-fated pursuit.

There are reports outlining Harbaugh’s difficulties with the 49ers’ front office. There were plenty during the season and now there are more because the focal point is on the 49ers. The latest is CBS Sports' report of trouble.

There has been talk of tension for a while. I do believe there is a large dose of tension that sometimes goes beyond strong professional health in the 49ers’ front office. Harbaugh can be demanding and he is uber competitive. There has been scuttlebutt in the league that Harbaugh issues are deep in the organization, with much of the angst between Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke. The CBS story indicated that someday the 49ers may have to decide between the two men.

I don’t think that will be anytime soon. But if the 49ers don’t come to a long-term accord with Harbaugh before the season starts, the potential for more angst will be great and it could be a storyline for the entire 2014 NFL season.

Harbaugh is entering the fourth of a five-year contract. If the 2014 season ends without him having a contract, there will be more teams trying to land Harbaugh and perhaps the 49ers will bite and take a deal.

That storyline could become a big-time distraction. But unless a contract extension is agreed upon, there will more stories of front-office hostility. And that’s a distraction no one within the organization will want.

The 49ers want to extend quarterback Colin Kaepernick to a long-term contract. Kaepernick will likely re-sign with the 49ers for the long term if the price is right, but I’m sure it would be easier to get his deal done if there were no speculation about the men who are supposed build the team around him.

These types of stories are easily to ignore in-house in February. But they become hovering clouds once training camp starts. Harbaugh and the rest of the 49ers' brass are on the clock to get this addressed and show that such reports of discord are simply noise instead of tangible issues.