Haslam Confirms: Browns Pursued 49ers’ Harbaugh

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam confirmed a Profootball Talk report that sent shock waves throughout the NFL circle this weekend at the NFL combine.

He told USAToday.com that talks occurred with the San Francisco 49ers about possibly obtaining head coach Jim Harbaugh in a trade for draft picks.

The 49ers owner John York denied the report that the two teams talked about making a trade.

Haslam told USAToday, “There was an opportunity there, and it didn’t materialize.”

The Browns went on to hire Mike Pettine as their head coach, and he addressed the rumors Saturday at the NFL combine when asked about the report.

“I got a phone call saying that that report was about to come out, and I shot the messenger a little bit,” Pettine said. “How does that affect my tenure as the head coach? I think in my next sentence, I either used the word ‘flying’ followed by something or referenced a part of a rat’s body. I think that’s noise. It has no bearing on my job moving forward.”

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