Report: The Browns tried to trade for Jim Harbaugh, 49ers almost agreed to it
What? The same Jim Harbaugh who just took the 49ers to three consecutive NFC Championship games? Apparently so. The 49ers appear unwilling to grant Harbaugh his wish of being the highest-paid coach in the NFL, and the Browns probably would have done so.
And so we have the report that 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was almost traded to the Browns. "A deal that would have sent multiple draft picks to San Francisco was in place between the teams," writes PFT's Mike Florio. "But Harbaugh ultimately decided not to leave the 49ers."
When asked, the Browns did not deny it. "The team conducted an extensive coaching search, and explored several options," team spokesman Zak Gilbert said. "That search produced an outstanding head coach in Mike Pettine and we're excited about his future with the club."
But the 49ers are jumping up and down screaming their denial of this report. 49ers CEO Jed York himself tweeted "is this on the record? Report isn't true." Two other 49ers sources told the NFL Network's Ian Rappaport that the report was "completely false. Ridiculous."
To which ProFootballTalk retweeted, "Your source is lying or misinformed. #justsaying".
According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, "Florio said on 95.7 The Game in the Bay area Friday that Harbaugh was seriously considering the move, but that his wife, Sarah, didn't want to move to Cleveland."
But if she had, the landscape of the NFL might look a whole lot different today.