Could we be seeing a Jed York-Jim Harbaugh reunion anytime soon? Almost certainly not with the 49ers — York has made clear his infatuation with new head coach-general manager duo Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch.
But perhaps at the dinner table over a steak and a glass of milk?
York did not rule it out and told Sports Illustrated’s Peter King this week that Jim’s brother, Ravens coach John, told York at this year’s Annual League Meeting that the pair should go out to dinner sometime.
“I’d love to sit down with Jim,” York told King, via NinersNation.com. “Not in front of cameras, not in front of anybody else but just share an evening with him and truly say thank you and wish him the best of luck. Not obviously when he plays Notre Dame, but for the rest of the season, wish him the best of luck.”
As we noted in another York piece from Wednesday, this has been a good week for the team CEO. For the first time since Harbaugh left, the franchise has some forward momentum after Lynch performed well on draft night. It’s easier now to open the Harbaugh wound than it might have been before.
Still, York said he has no regrets.
“I don’t know if ‘regret’ is the right word,” he said. “(Jim and I) had a lot of success together. We tried several times to get an extension done with Jim and, for whatever reason, those didn’t culminate. And, ultimately, as successful as he was here, I think Jim is very happy. He’s doing an unbelievable job at Michigan.”
He added: “I regret how we performed the last two years. I regret the relationship was frayed between me and a coach that did a lot of great things for the franchise.”
York’s massive investment in Shanahan and Lynch needs to succeed. After firing Harbaugh, Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly right in a row, the franchise seems to have bottomed out as a destination for head coaches and prospective talent evaluators. Scoring Shanahan, one of the brightest offensive minds in recent football history, might be the last good chance York has to elevate the 49ers to their Harbaugh-era status for a long time.
Of course, a repaired friendship between Harbaugh and York does 49ers fans no good at the moment. As they watch him rampage through college football, they only get glimpses of what could have been.