Posted February 21, 2014

Report: Browns wanted to trade for 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh; San Fran calls report ‘ridiculous’

NFL
49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh has a 36-11-1 record in three seasons as an NFL head coach. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has a 36-11-1 record in three seasons as an NFL head coach. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

During their head coaching search, the Cleveland Browns almost traded for the rights to San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, Pro Football Talk reports.

According to the report, multiple draft picks were in play to be sent to the 49ers for Harbaugh’s services. Ultimately, Harbaugh declined being part of such a deal and Cleveland had to look elsewhere, according to the report.

The Niners called the report “ridiculous,” however.

The Browns ended up hiring former Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.

The last time an NFL team traded its head coach was in 2002, when Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two first-round draft picks, two second-round draft picks, and $8 million in cash. Gruden led the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl title over the Raiders in his first season with the team.

Harbaugh has led the 49ers to the NFC Championship game in each of his three seasons in San Francisco and reached the Super Bowl at the end of the 2012 season.

The Browns released a statement to ESPNCleveland.com’s Tony Grossi following the release of Pro Football Talk’s report, which Grossi tweeted out.


13 comments
thebigdawg3
thebigdawg3

Why in the world would anyone want anything to do with the Cleveland Browns?

SandersonKramer
SandersonKramer

Another example of a non-story where the writer doesn't think or care that it takes two to tango like the great NBA trades that were plastered about by Sports Illustrated that never happen either. Just because I say I want to marry Angelina Jolie doesn't mean Angelina Jolie wants to marry me. What Sports Illustrated and other idiot magazines don't get is that just because one team wants to acquire a player or Coach doesn't mean that the other team is interested. In regards to Gruden, he wasn't traded. He resigned and Tampa gave up rights so they could legally sign him with years left on his contract. 

tonybot3
tonybot3

Isn't he from Michigan.... He'd never last in Ohio country. Haslam is smarter than i thought.

donald5
donald5

I thought the NFL was going to stop teams from doing this.

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

nothing like a trade rumor to pizz someone off...

wetmouse
wetmouse

Just what SF needs: more draft picks. It would be nice to see one of the low-character Harbaugh boys exiled to Cleveland though.

Keats1821
Keats1821

As was referenced in the article, rights are traded. Tampa sent Oakland picks and cash for the right to sign Gruden, who was still contractually obligated to Oakland. So it was a trade.

donald5
donald5

@SandersonKramer  If you feel it is a "non-story" don't click on it.  Internet advertisers don't care what your comment says.  The advertisers see clicks on a story and they they tell SI.com that people will click on stories like this.  SI.com likes when advertisers pay them a lot of money so they will write more of these stories.

Keats1821
Keats1821

Haslam is from Knoxville. I'm sure he doesn't pay attention to Michigan-Ohio rivalries.

Keats1821
Keats1821

From doing what? Sending coaches to Cleveland as sacrificial lambs?

SandersonKramer
SandersonKramer

@Keats1821  Not really a trade at all. It wasn't like Gruden was still actively the Coach and Tampa offered picks and compensation for him. Maybe this is semantics but this was a settlement not a trade