SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York denied his team nearly traded coach Jim Harbaugh to the Cleveland Browns last month for draft picks.
York shot down a report Friday by Pro Football Talk, posting on Twitter: "Is this on the record? Report isn't true." Pro Football Talk reported that a deal was in place that would have sent Harbaugh to coach Cleveland, but he opted to stay put. The 50-year-old Harbaugh just completed his third season of a $25 million, five-year contract and declined to address the subject of an extension or any scheduled talks after the season with York, who had said he hoped to meet with the coach.
The 49ers (14-5) lost to the NFC West rival and eventual Super Bowl champion Seahawks in the NFC championship game, 23-17.
A few days after San Francisco's season, Cleveland hired Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine to replace Rob Chudzinski, who was fired after going 4-12 his first year. It was the team's sixth straight season with at least 11 losses.
"The team conducted an extensive coaching search, and explored several options," the Browns said in a statement Friday. "That search produced an outstanding head coach in Mike Pettine and we're excited about his future with the club."