San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York denied the jaw dropping report that Jim Harbaugh was almost traded to the Cleveland Browns. Pro Football Talk reported over the weekend the 49ers would have received draft picks in exchange for Harbaugh.
York denied the report on Twitter:
— Jed York (@JedYork) February 21, 2014
The thought of Harbaugh wanting to leave the 49ers was shocking, especially because it was to the lowly Cleveland Browns. However, Harbaugh does have a close relationship with former Browns GM Mike Lombardi. The trade negotiations reportedly took place last month while Lombardi was still in charge in Cleveland. Harbaugh hired Mike’s son, Mick, as assistant to the head coach last season. Mike and Jim spent the 2002-2003 seasons with the Oakland Raiders.
Ultimately, Harbaugh wanted to stay with the Niners because of the good thing he has going with a team reaching the NFC Championship game three seasons in a row. His wife also reportedly had a say in staying put, not wanting to relocate to another city.
Harbaugh has two years remaining on his five-year, $25 million contract. No news has been reported about the status of contract extension talks or if any have taken place at all.