Cleveland Browns Owner Confirms Harbaugh Trade Talks
Per Jarrett Bell of USA Today, Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has confirmed the report that the team talked with the San Francisco 49ers about acquiring their head coach, Jim Harbaugh.
There was an opportunity there, and it didn’t materialize.
Earlier this week, Down and Distance related a report from Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, that the Cleveland Browns had made an attempt to trade for the San Francisco 49ers head coach, Jim Harbaugh. The hotly debated story erupted on Twitter with Ian Rapoport of NFL.com telling Florio high-ranking officials within the 49ers organization called the report “false” and “ridiculous.” The exchanges over Twitter ultimately resulted in the owner of the 49ers organization Tweeting this in response to Florio’s instistance Rapoport reveal his sources:
— Jed York (@JedYork) February 21, 2014
The conflicting reports certainly indicate one of the teams are not being entirely forthcoming and it is not entirely clear why. The Browns, who were the sources for the original story, have their new coach in Mike Pettine and it was not a great secret that Pettine was among the last choices for the head coaching vacancy. On the 49ers front, the initial report said the deal was nixed because Harbaugh decided against it, so it is not apparent why the 49ers would deny something that Harbaugh knew about it. However, after York’s adamant Tweet that the talks never occurred, the 49ers would appear more disorganized than the Browns if they backtracked.