Report: 49ers tried to trade Harbaugh to Browns

NBC Sports, which cites multiple sources, just reported that the 49ers tried to trade Jim Harbaugh to the Browns this offseason. To read the report, click here.

  1. When I read it on another site it sounded like the Brown tried to make a trade for Browns. Its world of difference to say the 49ers tried to trade Harbaugh as opposed to Browns tried to make a trade for Harbaugh…

    Which is it???

  2. From what i’m reading this was’nt a simple player for player trade. I believe that Harbaugh had to be involved from the beging and in fact it was Harbaugh who nixed the trade after the Browns released Lombardi

    1. Dunno about your timeline. If Harbaugh nixed the trade AFTER Lombardi’s firing, that means the Browns would then have to fire Pettine who just took the job while Lombardi was still employed by the Browns. Are the Browns really that pathetic? Better yet, don’t answer that.

    2. Old Coach – yeah, that seems like the logical assumption. Harbaugh seems to be levereging himself for either for more money/contract extension, wants more power, and perhaps can’t get along with Baalke and would have rather worked with Lombardi.

      From the 49ers perspective; I can’t seem to fathom what they are thinking. How many years of futility UNTIL Harbaugh and his staff came aboard?

  3. I’m guessing the Browns said, “Hey Jed, what if we give you two 1st, two 2nd rounders and a 3rd for Harbaugh”.

    And Jed said, “That sure is a boat load of draft picks. Hey Jim, you want to go coach at the Mistake by the Lake?”

    Jim Harbaugh said “Gobble, Gobble…Nope…Gobble, Gobble”.

  4. If everything reported is accurate I think the most likely story is that Harbaugh called the Browns to gain leverage in the contract negotiations, Baalke called his bluff by seeing what he could get, and Harbaugh then nixed it because no one actually wants to go to Cleveland.

  5. Let’s play along with this scenario. Say Harbs gets traded. What do the 9ers get back and who is the new coach?

    Obviously a high quality coach is more important than a potential player. One is proven the other is not so I think multifple first rounders would be involved. Say Browns two 1st this year and one next year. Maybe a few other later rounders thrown in. For coach I hope it wouldn’t be Roman, it would be cool if they swayed Shaw to come over and keep the same staff but I doubt that. Maybe Fangio takes it.

      1. It would be a plum job… one of the most talented rosters, tons of extra draft picks and a great location to more a family.

  6. This headline is definitely misleading. Everything else you read is that the Browns called up the Niners and said, “hey we’ve got an idea……” Balke told them to hold on for a second and after the laughter subsided, said, “Jim’s not interested. Sorry.”

    What would the 49ers do with 16+ picks in the draft anyway?

      1. interesting that it was up to Harbaugh to nix…you would think if the Niners initiated then they would have pulled the trigger regardless of Harbs feeling toward it… i wonder if the true detail will ever come out

        1. Do coaches contracts work the same way as player contracts? When a team trades for a coach do they assume the coaches contract or does a new deal need to be sorted out between the coach and team he is traded to (i.e., the trade between the two teams is about granting the rights to do up a contract with the coach, and the existing contract is terminated by mutual consent)?

      2. you’ll notice, Grant, that he said everything ELSE. All other reports – including quotes from 49ers executives – suggest that this was an idea the Browns had, not a deal that was in place.

        1. Florio, from the article linked in this post: “A deal that would have sent multiple draft picks to San Francisco was in place between the teams.”

          1. Would you make the trade? I would in a second for top draft picks and getting rid of Greg Roman

            Having to acquire Roman was the deal breaker for the Browns Neal.

          2. Yes, Grant, we are all aware of what that article said. I repeat, Rico said everything ELSE you read. All other sources talking about this story paint the picture as though the Browns came to the Niners, and that was the end of that.

      3. Bleacher Report has a quote from a Browns insider saying that when they reached out to Roman and Tomusula, Harbaugh expressed his interest. He apparently has had it with Baalke; to add, Harbaugh is very close with Mike Lombardi. If this is true, one can use conjecture and see that after Lombardi was let go, Harbaugh no longer wanted to be HC of the Browns.

        Who would have been a good replacement for Harbaugh? and who still may be a good replacement for him if Baalke and Harbs can’t see eye to eye?

        1. Tomsula is the only guy with the ability to win the most popular coach with the players award from Pete Carroll….

    1. Right Rico, but he gets more hits with his wording. ’49ers & Harbaugh considered trade proposal from Browns’ would’ve been more accurate and still gotten the clicks. This is weird all the way around, but the media is skating and hasn’t really nailed it down all the way for detailed accuracy; just gossiping on a juicy tidbit. The Browns are goofy, but Jed, Trent and Jim probably figured, WTH, run it bye us. If Jim had accepted, I would’ve recommended a mental health checkup.

    1. No, the fact that it came out of Florio’s mouth makes it absolutely untrue. He is usually the last to report something that is based on facts.

    2. Sorry Grant but as much as you want this to be a big deal it just isn’t. There was no situation in which the team was going to deal Harbaugh, it just doesn’t make sense for either the team or the coach.

        1. What does that report actually say. The Browns made a phone call, the 49ers listened to a certain point and then said no thanks and hung up.

          There’s no story here. Move on to real football news.

    3. Florio also threw the gauntlet down when he reported that Terry Bradshaw had died. That being said, this isn’t surprising to me at all. Harbaugh is a tough person to get along with. While he is a great head coach, his methods seem to irritate and grate on others. Everybody would absolutely hate him if he was coaching another team. He seems like the Larry Brown of football, never destined to stay in one place for long. The good thing is that coaching this franchise is one of the most coveted jobs in sports.

  7. I love the headline!
    After seeing multiple other sites run with headlines saying the Browns tried to make a trade or the Browns nearly traded. I knew I would not be let down by coming here for the spin of the day. Very entertaining!

  8. Utterly ridiculous. The hapless Browns would have had to mortgage this and next year’s picks in the first three rounds to even get some sort of consideration for such a trade.

    1. This is a every pick in a draft type of trade of First and second round picks for at least two possibly three seasons. That type of deal doesn’t exist in the modern NFL. The Herschel Walker/Ricky Williams trades of NFL past have assigned a stigma to those type of all-in trades that teams no longer want to be associated with.

  9. The fact that is was Harbaugh nixing the deal and not the team says everything you need to know. Harbaugh wasn’t serious about coaching another team and the team wasn’t serious about sending him anywhere, period end of story. Can we please get back to free agent talk now?

  10. report i heard said harbaugh agreed to the deal then changed his mind

    i have doubts niners would want more picks–maybe the wr gordon would be their target

  11. Grant, you are such a troll. All you ever do is take the most negative view anything 49ers. ’49ers tried to trade Harbaugh’??? First of all of course the Browns iniated this and it barely moved past the inquiry stage. Mkrt and Sheftef practically brushed it off on sportscenter. Who are you going to trust – couple of trolls like grant and florio or mort and schefter?? Grow up grant and actually make a factual headline instead of just trying to get views. Damn your a hack and your act is really, really old.

  12. The story makes for great chatter and there may be some truth. One problem. You can’t trade coaches for draft picks. That was put in place after Oakland traded Gruden to Tampa.

    1. The timing is suspect, which tells me it’s all about contract negotiations. I’m getting the feeling this isn’t going to end well….

        1. It’s like when your single Jack. You juggle your women until you hit the jackpot.
          Harbaugh worked his way up.

          1. I understand that aspect of the coaching game Crab. Still not sure if Harbaugh is going to be around too much longer.

          2. Crabs, if I’m ever in a slump, I’m calling you to bust me out if it. You seem like a man that would gladly jump on a grenade for one of his boys, a true team player. I have to agree with Jack about Harbaugh, though. He wears on people and seems to dislike staying in one spot for very long. It’s a unstable combination. The good thing is that this franchise is running very smoothly right now and there is stability. They have a new stadium opening up and the ownership and front office have a good reputation, unlike four years ago. It is a highly coveted job that will attract talented candidates should Harbaugh get the four year itch.

      1. I agree razor! This is real bad press either way.. I really hope Jim resigns but I think there is a real rift between GM and Coach.

    2. Jack, I believe the right to trade coaches for picks was restored at the following annual owners meeting in 2003. The Jets traded Herm Edwards to the Chiefs in 2006 for a 4th rounder.

    3. The chiefs gave a 4th to the jets for her Edwards. it can be done. They tried to freeze it after the gruden trade and if you remember, we wanted to do it with mariucci to the Lions the next year.

  13. Coolest greatest bestest most terrific rumour since the beginning of mankind a++++. How about spreading one about trading kap for Wilson ? That one would get me excited.

  14. there are four coaches i’d replace jim with..If he walked..All four have ties to 49er yesteryears…Holmgren,Shanahan,Billick,Dennis Green,and Jon gruden

      1. Not on drugs..Just sayin..The man knows offense..Unless u happy with the offense we got..If u are…More power to ya..Im not

      1. Superbowl winning coaches aren’t losers..lol.Now Dennis didnt win but all these guys were around the masters of the legacy..Know more about offense then this current regime

  15. Why would the Niners ever think of letting go of him? We were a 10 year garbage dump before he got here..He leaves so does his staff..what the he’ll is going on?

    1. some reports says that Jim is the one that first approached the Browns about the coaching vacancy there after the NFCCG game… i don’t know if that’s true or not, but if it’s true, why would he do it? to against his bro twice a year seems insane to me…

  16. this will note bode well for Harbaugh’s continued tenure in SF; the clock is definitely now ticking. just hope we’re prepared for that day.

  17. Grant, all I can say is, you keep me in stitches with each new headline. You must feel like your some kind of wolf among the sheep, getting us all stirred up. The job probably doesn’t pay well but at least you get a lot of laughs. Keep up the work.

  18. My guess is that the ‘multiple sources’ were all members of the Browns’ former front office.

  19. Niners and kaep talking contract extension! This will be the first domino affect.. Kaep signs and then jim follow suit.. Jim wants to make sure Balke commits to kaep long term.

    1. Let Kaep play out his contract. He’s not the reason for the Niners winning, he’s a byproduct of it. If he thinks he can get a better deal and start somewhere else, have at it, but after next year teams that will be looking for a qb will be the likes of Oakland, Cleveland, Arizona (Maybe), Jets, Bills (maybe)…basically no team that will give him the opportunity to succeed as he has here.

  20. Bottom line, don’t believe everything you read. It’s no different than when Grant creates some non-story and everyone reacts. They cannot find news so they make it up. Cleveland probably said we’ll give you 2 first rounders for Harbaugh and the Niners said no. The rest was made up drama by a crappy reporter. Floria has always been a joke. God the media awful today.

      1. I can buy the Peyton Manning angle Jack, but trading away a winning coach that made this team a Super contender once again is nothing but a pack of lies. Al Davis wasn’t the team owner last time I checked.

        1. I can buy trading Harbaugh for a load of picks too. From everything I’ve read he’s a bit tough to deal with and it may be getting clear inside the organization that a new deal will be tough to get done.

          1. There’s likely partial truths to this as you don’t normally see this much detail in an unsubstantiated rumour.

            Whatever the case, it seems as if there is trouble brewing either over Harbaugh’s financial demands or desire for more personnel control.

          1. Did I say it was concrete evidence? Yes, it’s something. It’s Mort putting his name behind the story being true. Pretty much what I said before you got perturbed….

  21. First of all, IF there is a shred of truth to this, I think both Harbaugh AND York nixed it. Jim said “Cleveland!? hahaha!” And York said “Baalke why are you trying to get fired!?” There’s no way this story is even remotely true. There’s so many things wrong with that scenario. The 49ers barely trade away players who contribute very little, why would we trade the guy that made us relevant. Everything about the team identity is distinctly Harbaugh, the QB, coaching staff, the team philosophy. You couldn’t bring in another head coach to fill that void. We’re getting ready to open a new stadium, we ‘re in the toughest division and the road to Super Bowl will go through NFC West for the next few years…why on earth would we create instability at the top? Maybe the got the wrong Harbaugh, maybe the Browns called and got shot down, maybe the rumor was spread by a few drunken reporters during one of their typical school gossip get together….either way, FALSE STORY!

    1. where there is smoke, there is usually fire. Also, it is usually considered unethical for reporters to publish reports without legitimate sources. I doubt they would risk losing their job for the sake of starting rumors.

      1. Are you suggesting that reporters ALWAYS follow the rules, are ALWAYS scrupulous, and never publish false information? Interesting…

        1. Not at all! But those are journalists from tmz. However, when multiple sources and multiple journalists confirm something was brewing, I am more inclined to believe the news they disseminate.

  22. Here’s the question I want answered. If Harbaugh supposedly considered going to Cleveland, then why did so many other coaching candidates nix the idea because of the toxic environment created the terrible Browns front office at that time? And don’t give me the Michael Lombardi link because it is 200% weak.

    1. I am not sure how weak the Lombardi link truely is considering his son is an assistant with the 49ers and Mike and Jim apparently have a very good relationship. Nevertheless, I am sure there are mutliple reasons Harbaugh supposedly considered.

      a. The current relationship with Baalke

      b. Negotiating power with the 49ers/ contract extension with what he thinks his value is

      c. The itch to start somwhere new as he tends to leave on his own terms and time

      From the 49ers perspective, I would hate to consider the implications because we were awful even with all of that talent until Harbaugh came on board and with a strike shortened training camp turned them into contenders.

      1. I haven’t seen any kind of friction between Baalke and Harbaugh, and if there was some, I’d venture a guess that Baalke would be let go.
        The contract negotiating angle is weak as well because it is obvious that does nothing but hurt Harbaugh’s credibility.
        As for Harbaugh’s to start elsewhere from time to time, that is because each move has been a step up. I don’t see how going to Cleveland would be classified as a step up from the Niners…unless he was offered half the ownership.

        1. Yeah, I haven’t ‘seen’ the friction either considering I am not in the office with them. However, it has been reported by Maiocco, Barrow, et al as there being tension between Harbaugh and Baalke. Which, I have read numerous amount of articles by these insiders that mentioned that.

          The Cleveland angle was because of his relationship with Lombardi and him supposedly wanting to work with both Banner and Lombardi. I agree that it would be taking a significant step down.

          I would also prefer that they would either replace Baalke if this were the case and/or give Harbaugh more personnel power to add players that fit his schemes.

        2. oh yeah, as far as negotiating. His creditibility is based on his ability to turn teams around which has been obvious by his coaching resume. Considering he wants to get paid top dollar as a coach, and the Niners are unwilling to do so UNTIL he wins a Superbowl, it would be safe to assume it could have been a tactic to procure more money and a better contract.

  23. does anyone know if this story had been reported
    first … by the National Enquirer ?

    (sure sounds like it did)

  24. OK, over the objections of some, Grant refers to himself as a Journalist. Is reporting unconfirmed stories from outside sources, with editorialized headlines journalism? Grant, the guy who insists on not being a fan to maintain his journalistic independence, who uses Healthy Journalistic Skepticism about every single public utterance from the Team, has no such skepticism about a wildly implausible (but potentially true) rumor. Wouldn’t a sage Sportswriter enjoy flavoring the report of the report with some good natured tongue in cheek skepticism? Not our guy Grant, he jumps to defend reports that he has no knowledge or evidence to support or debunk. He loves to talk about Kap’s footwork and mechanics, but doesn’t exercise best practices of a journalist who IS TRYING TO PAINT AN ACCURATE PICTURE OF THE TRUTH. Not the highest priority. Sensationalism? Check.
    There is a truth behind these accounts. Grant won’t be the one to get to the bottom of it.

    1. Well said. Although I “THINK” it’s true, I’m not doing a column on it and betting the house with outside sources BELIEVING its true.

      My other opinion is that Harbaugh will not be back after his contract. If they don’t sign him after this season, you can forget about him staying beyond his last year. I just hope he can get a Super Bowl in 1 of the 2 years remaining.

    1. PFT is reporting that the 49ers attempted to trade Harbaugh’s brownie but that he pulled the plug on the deal at the last second when the waitress informed him that they do indeed have vanilla ice cream.

  25. True story is that Jim would have gone to the Browns to save his buddy’s job.

    Once it became clear that his friend would be fired Jim turned down the H/C job.

  26. This is the reason the internet was invented. Dubious stories gain traction as truth as the chatter builds, aided and abetted by bloggers looking to make a name for themselves. Welcome to 21st century journalism.

    1. The internet was invented so sports journalists could write and propagate false stories in the hopes of duping potential readers? smh

    1. Coffee click on link to comment and it will take you to that comment and the same recent comments and link to comments seem on. I do’nt know if that made sense?

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