Feb 20, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh speaks during a press conference during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Offseason: Pro Football Talk reports Jim Harbaugh almost traded to Cleveland

Editor’s Note: The Niners are expected to make a statement on this ProFootballTalk report and we will report that as soon as it comes out in a story that has conflicting sources coming out. 

Even after getting the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl and to a NFC Championship in back to back seasons winning almost wasn’t enough to keep Jim Harbaugh away from a stunning offloading to the Cleveland Browns according to  Pro Football Talk.

The Browns’ unpredictable head-coaching search nearly finished with what would have been the most unpredictable outcome of any head-coaching search since Jon Gruden was traded from the Raiders to the Buccaneers a dozen years ago.

Per multiple league sources, the Cleveland Browns nearly pulled off a trade with the 49ers for the rights to coach Jim Harbaugh.

A deal that would have sent multiple draft picks to San Francisco was in place between the teams.  But Harbaugh ultimately decided not to leave the 49ers.

The 49ers could not immediately be reached for comment.  Efforts to contact the 49ers continue.

The Browns declined to comment specifically on whether an effort was made to acquire Jim Harbaugh.  The Browns characterized the search as thorough, and the Browns acknowledged that many options were considered.  The Browns emphasized that the team is excited about its new coach Mike Pettine.

One of those league sources was ESPNCleveland’s Tony Grossi.


Expect a quick denial from the 49ers coming shortly as it is highly unlikely the team will confirm such a rumor involving the future coach of the franchise. Still it is an interesting February story to keep the NFL ball rolling while we are focused on the NFL Combine and are miles away from actual football being even practiced let alone played. It would be even more intriguing to know Harbaugh’s value for any potential future head coaching trades, which are uncommon in the NFL but have happened with Jon Gruden and Herm Edwards in the not to distant past.

Next Raiders Game Full schedule »
Sunday, Oct 2626 Oct4:25at Cleveland BrownsBuy Tickets

Tags: Jim Harbaugh NFC West NFL NFL Offseason Rumor Mill

comments powered by Disqus