Harbaugh calls report of near-trade 'ridiculous'

Harbaugh calls report of near-trade 'ridiculous'
February 22, 2014, 6:15 am
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A report surfaced Friday that the 49ers and Browns had a trade in place: Jim Harbaugh for draft picks. (USATSI)

Programming note: 49ers Insider Matt Maiocco is on the ground in Indianapolis to cover the NFL Combine. Check back for his coverage all weekend and get the full report on SportsNet Central every night at 6 and 10:30 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Coach Jim Harbaugh on Saturday briefly addressed a report that he declined a trade that would have sent him from the 49ers to the Cleveland Browns.

“The report? Ridiculous. Ridiculous. No. Ridiculous,” Harbaugh told CSNBayArea.com on Saturday morning.

Harbaugh made his comment as he walked briskly into Lucas Oil Stadium to observe the first round of workouts for offensive linemen and tight ends at the NFL Scouting Combine.

On Friday, Pro Football Talk reported the 49ers and Browns had a trade in place that would have sent an undisclosed number of draft picks to the 49ers for Harbaugh. According to the report, Harbaugh decided to remain with the 49ers.

Team CEO Jed York wrote on Twitter, “Report isn’t true.”

In a text message to CSN Bay Area’s Dave Feldman, Harbaugh wrote, “For the record, I echo Jed York’s comment…’isn’t true.’ I know nothing about a trade with the Cleveland Browns and us involving me.”

The Browns issued a statement on Friday that read: “The team conducted an extensive coaching search, and explored several options. That search produced an outstanding head coach in Mike Pettine and we’re excited about his future with the club.”

Cleveland hired Pettine, the former Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator, on Jan. 23 – four days after the 49ers’ season ended with a loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship game. On Feb. 11, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam fired team president Joe Banner and general manager Mike Lombardi, a close friend of Harbaugh.