San Francisco 49ers Did Not Lose out on Peyton Manning Because of Jim Harbaugh

Vincent Frank@VincentFrankNFLCorrespondent IMarch 21, 2012

PEBBLE BEACH, CA - FEBRUARY 09:  San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh reacts to his tee shot on the 18th hole during the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at the Spyglass Hill Golf Course on February 9, 2012 in Pebble Beach, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Lowell Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat indicated in a column on Tuesday that Jim Harbaugh's ego was the primary reason that Peyton Manning didn't choose the San Francisco 49ers. According to Cohn, "Manning working with Harbaugh would have been a battle of wills, and Manning saw that and was wise to choose Denver. Harbaugh never had enough self-knowledge to know the truth because he is incapable of seeing life through someone else's eyes."

He is taking a very narrow approach by coming to this conclusion. Cohn suggests teams need to let Manning be Manning in order for the future Hall of Fame quarterback to be at his best.

While I don't disagree with this assessment, who can plausibly come to the conclusion that Harbaugh didn't know this?

Harbaugh is a bright enough guy to understand that if the 49ers were to bring in Manning he would have to take a backseat in terms of play-calling and game management. After all, San Francisco made the decision to go after the quarterback in the first place.

Trent Baalke and Greg Roman did not accompany the head coach to Durham last Tuesday in order to give Manning a quid pro quo. It wasn't like they attempted to woo Manning by saying "If you come here things are going to have to change."

That would just be foolish.

Instead, Harbaugh and the rest of the 49ers organization were attempting to bring Manning in because he would have made them the clear-cut favorites to win the Super Bowl. Losing a little bit of your power is a small price to pay for that.

ENGLEWOOD, CO - MARCH 20:  Quarterback Peyton Manning speaks during a news conference announcing his contract with the Denver Broncos in the team meeting room at the Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre on March 20, 2012 in Englewood, Colorado. Manning,
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

While we are on the subject of opinions, I have one that might not go over well outside of San Francisco. Maybe Manning didn't choose the 49ers because his ego was the issue. After all, this is a quarterback that pretty much had free rein to do what he wanted in Indianapolis, both personnel and play-calling wise.

In no way am I saying that Manning shouldn't have that ego. He has been one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the league. However, to suggest Harbaugh and Manning couldn't coexist because the former was too narrow-minded or lacked the ability to look himself in the mirror is an absolute joke.

In the end Manning made the decision to go to the Denver Broncos. There is no reason for 49ers'fans to be angry or bitter about the decision. He did what was best for him, or at least what he was thought was best for him.

There is no reason to point fingers, especially in the direction of a head coach that has led this organization back from the abyss.

I guess skeptical writers will always find a pretext for their skepticism.

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