Browns almost traded for Jim Harbaugh?

jim-harbaugh-inside-apMike Florio from Pro Football Talk may just have the craziest story to drip out of the bucket of insanity that was the last two months of Cleveland Browns news: Berea almost pulled a trade with the San Francisco 49ers that would have given them the rights to head coach Jim Harbaugh.

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.

There were dozens of unsourced, loosely discussed rumors discussing a “mystery candidate” (not named Dan Quinn) for the job which ultimately went to Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. Naturally, many local folks are coming out of the woodwork claiming to have had this news but were, for whatever reason, unable to report it. Folk lore states that the Browns reached out to San Francisco to talk to the highly-discussed Greg Roman; Harbaugh reportedly stated that he was the one interested.

The Browns released an official statement on the matter, claiming that the “team did an extensive coaching search and explored several options,” and that it “produced an outstanding head coach in Mike Pettine.”

Regardless, the Browns, reportedly due to compensation reasons, did not land the incredibly successful NFC West coach. They did land Mike Pettine. The former will be vying for this fourth-straight NFC Championship game while the latter attempts to get the Browns to .500 for the first time seven years.

  • MrCleaveland

    Never a dull moment. Gotta like the way that somebody was being creative. Was it Jimmy or Banner who came up with this? Or someone else?

    Glad we didn’t do it, though.

  • Bluedog93

    I’d like to know what we would have given up for the guy. I’d also like to know why he eventually said “no.”

  • mgbode

    I could see SF agreeing if they contacted Shaw and he was willing to jump up and they were getting an absolute haul of draft picks.

    But, I cannot see Harbaugh wanting to make the jump to go to a worse team, without a QB, and losing a bunch of draft picks (so may get worse in talent level over next few years).

  • cmm13


  • MrCleaveland

    Just for funsies, I dug up a comment I posted a month ago when we were still looking for a coach:

    “And who knows, after the Seahawks annihilate the ‘Niners Sunday, maybe
    Harbaugh will get fired and he’ll be ours for the taking. (Okay, no more
    leftover Christmas Ale before noon.)”

  • Steve

    “the Browns, reportedly due to compensation reasons, did not land the incredibly successful NFC West coach”

    The compensation bit isn’t in the article. It seems more like that Harbaugh wanted nothing to do with coaching the Browns. And even if it wasn’t the case that the Browns front office is a s—show and Rebate Jimmy is even less competent than his predecessor at the putting together a front office, that would make sense. Who would want to go from a Super Bowl contender to one of the worst teams in the league?

  • EyesAbove

    Best comment in the PFT article:

    “Ultimately Jim decided he wasn’t fully committed to returning as an active quarterback, even though he was guaranteed the starting job in Cleveland.”

  • Tron


  • RGB
  • RGB

    Pure unadulterated Bannermetrics baby!

  • Not in the article, no, but was all over Twitter following the report.

  • mgbode

    begs the question, what are adulterated Bannermetrics?

  • RGB

    It’s like Sabermetrics for the Special Olympics.

  • The_Real_Shamrock


  • Idjits

  • woofersus

    Yeah, but of all the reasons a move like that would NOT happen, compensation makes the least sense. Could his demands have been that stratospheric? If so, he didn’t want to make the move for other reasons anyway.