Mike 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.