ORLANDO, Fla. -- CEO Jed York and general manager Trent Baalke looked cool and confident, answered all questions, and practically swaggered in and out of their separate media sessions at the NFL annual meetings here Tuesday.
Things are working out precisely according to plan for the 49ers' two power-brokers this offseason, yes they are.
That includes the early stages of contract-extension talks with quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who probably holds the key to the franchise's long-term future.
"We're going to work extremely hard, very diligently in trying to get something done prior to training camp," Baalke said of the negotiations with Kaepernick's representatives. "That's the objective right now, as it stands ...
"We've addressed the generalities, so to speak, and now it's time to enter the next phase."
Baalke cautioned that a deal this large is sure to be complicated and will take time and many meetings.
But Baalke is always cautious -- any kind of public optimism from him on a contract negotiation is a sign that the 49ers believe things can get done.
Then came this from York, who wasn't exactly pushing a hard line on the potential financial terms for Kaepernick, who is under contract for 2014:
"We don't beat Green Bay without Colin, I don't think we beat Carolina without Colin, I think he played really well for a lot of the game in Seattle," York said of the 49ers' three playoff games, two victories and a gut-wrenching defeat to the Seahawks in the NFC championship game.
"You know, I think there's a lot that he's done that put him in that position where he should be paid like one of the top quarterbacks in the league, whether we get it done now or later.
"We hope we get it done soon. If we don't, I don't think it's going to be acrimonious."
York made it sound so simple: Kaepernick deserves a lot of money, and the 49ers are willing to pay it.
Regarding another expensive big name, both 49ers' executives made it very clear that controversial Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson neither fits their salary structure nor their locker-room atmosphere.
Easy decisions, no doubts. See how things come together when you're on a roll?
York and Baalke stayed on that theme when they spoke candidly -- and thoughtfully -- about Baalke's often stormy relationship with coach Jim Harbaugh.
Of course, Harbaugh is the wild-card entrant in the 49ers triumvirate, and he is scheduled to face the assembled media here for a full hour Wednesday morning.
But Harbaugh already has said he embraces the 49ers' unique style of constructive tension and almost certainly will say so again.
Why not? The only thing the 49ers haven't won in the three-season Harbaugh-Baalke tenure is a Super Bowl.
Falling just short so often has ramped up the personal competition and league-wide whispering, and that was why the Cleveland Browns thought they might be able to trade for Harbaugh last month.
"There's a lot of tension," York said of his GM and coach. "There's a lot of build-up and when you don't win you drive and push even more and that creates friction ...
"They get along. They're just grinding. They want a ring. And they're trying to battle and fight to get to that ring.
"And sometimes it wears on people. But I like that tension. I think they like that tension. And I think both of them compete better when there's something to compete against."
Many times Baalke and Harbaugh agree on personnel decisions. Sometimes they don't.
And the quarrels can be donnybrooks.
"This is a competitive business and the only way you can compete is to be competitive," Baalke said. "So there are going to be times that people within any organization don't see eye-to-eye on certain things.
"But that doesn't mean the relationship's bad. That just means there's a disagreement in maybe a situation or a certain philosophy."
They work together, and compete with each other, because how else is either man going to win a Super Bowl soon?
"I know this," Baalke said of Harbaugh, "he's our football coach, he's a damn good football coach, and we expect him to be our football coach for a long time."
Harbaugh has two years left on the five-year deal he signed originally, and there have only been brief contract-extension talks.
That's the extreme pressure-point in the Harbaugh-49ers relationship: When will he get a monster deal and how willing will the 49ers be to pay it if he doesn't win a Super Bowl?
Harbaugh is content to remain at $5 million a year--severely under his market value--waiting for the 49ers, or somebody else, to offer him something close to $10 million a season.
Until then ...
"I know he wants to be here," York said of Harbaugh. "We want him to be here.
"I expect us to be able to work something out."
You saying you expect it this offseason?
"Just in general," York said.
York said it casually and calmly, the same way he said everything else on Tuesday, sounding like everything is going exactly as planned.
S.F. optimistic about reaching deal with QB before training camp.