The San Francisco 49ers have been excruciatingly close to a Super Bowl title these past three years, and head coach Jim Harbaugh has gotten them to the very brink of a world championship.
The window of opportunity for the 49ers is still open, but it is beginning to close. Still, Harbaugh deserves accolades for getting the 49ers back to relevance in the NFL.
He has two years remaining on his five-year contract, so a new deal isn't absolutely necessary, but it would be prudent. If the 49ers were to win the Super Bowl next year, Harbaugh's price would skyrocket.
A three-year contract extension would make sense for both Harbaugh and the 49ers. It gives Harbaugh a greater degree of security and ensures that the 49ers will have their coach locked in for the long term.
Harbaugh currently makes roughly $5 million per year, and a raise towards the $8 million level is in order. Incentives, such as a Super Bowl title, could be put into place to provide Harbaugh even more upside.
In addition to their head coach, the 49ers have some very tough decisions to make on several players.
Let's take a look at five smart, cost-effective moves the 49ers should take before the upcoming season.
Contract and salary-cap data courtesy of spotrac.com.
Stats courtesy of pro-football-reference.com.