NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement Likely To Impact 49ers Head Coaching Search

Ken StansellContributor IIJanuary 2, 2011

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
NFL Commissioner Roger GoodellJeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Many believe there will be some type of work stoppage in the NFL this year when the collective bargaining agreement expires in March, either in the form of a player walkout or an owner lockout.

Could this looming scenario have an adverse impact on the San Francisco 49ers' pending search for a new head coach, particularly if their coach of choice is Jim Harbaugh?

What if Michigan fires Rich Rodriguez and comes calling upon the the candidate that many believe is the 49ers' "Plan A" head coaching choice in Jim Harbaugh?

What if Andrew Luck decides to return to Stanford next season and opt out of the NFL draft due to the uncertainty of the NFL labor situation?  Imagine Harbaugh staying at Stanford with a legitimate chance to coach the Cardinal to a BCS National Championship berth with a quarterback who, by all odds, will be the leading candidate for the Heisman trophy next season!

Faced with the choice of coaching his alma mater Michigan or Stanford to a BCS Bowl Game or sitting out a portion or all of the 2011 NFL season may be a tough one for a passionate coach like Harbaugh. Clearly Harbaugh will want to be on the sidelines coaching next season somewhere as opposed to sitting in a dark, cold office with no players around. Besides, staying at Stanford or going to Michigan will not necessarily drop Harbaugh's stock if he continues on his current steep trajectory of success.

As time goes by in Jed York's search for a new GM and head coach, I personally believe the chances of him and the San Francisco 49ers landing Harbaugh as their new head coach are diminishing rapidly.

While the crystal ball is hazy at this moment, I am beginning to see a Brian Billick in the 49ers' future, a man who has been out of coaching for some time now and won't have an analyst gig next season anyway if the NFL is temporarily out of business.

When the 49ers had the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft, it was said to be one of the weakest NFL drafts in years, particularly at quarterback, which the 49ers so desperately needed that year. 

Now that the time has come to select the next 49ers head coach, an NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement expiration threatens the 2011 season and may have a huge impact on whom the 49ers get as their next head coach.

The Yorks just can't find any luck at all in running this franchise now, can they?

Luck. That's it!

Andrew Luck as the next 49ers quarterback and Jim Harbaugh as their next head coach.

If only.