Report: 49ers nearly traded Jim Harbaugh to Browns
In what would have been one of the most bizarre moves in recent NFL history, the Browns were close to acquiring 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh for multiple draft picks, according to a report from Pro Football Talk.
The report states that the Browns were close to pulling the move off but that Harbaugh himself decided he didn't want the move to go through.
The Browns have yet to deny the possible trade that did not finalize during their coaching search. Cleveland ultimately hired Mike Pettine as its new head coach. A 49ers representative, speaking anonymously, told the NFL Network that the report is not true.
The move would have had a drastic impact on the NFL. It would have placed Jim Harbaugh in the same division with his brother, John Harbaugh, the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens.
It would have also left the 49ers without the head coach that's taken them to three consecutive NFC Championships, with one Super Bowl appearance.
A report from CSNBayArea.com, that followed the initial one from Pro Football Talk, stated that the 49ers have no intention of paying Harbaugh a salary close to that of a Super Bowl-winning coach. Though Harbaugh has yet to win one, it's hard to argue with the results he's had since being hired as the 49ers head coach.
If Harbaugh would have left for Cleveland, it was likely that his replacement would have been 49ers defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, the same CSNBayArea.com report stated.
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.