Friday’s report from Mike Florio that the Browns and 49ers nearly completed a trade that would have placed current 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh in the same division as his brother was a clear sign that earlier signs of uneasiness in the relationship between Harbaugh and the Niners haven’t gone away completely.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com follows up on Florio’s report by adding some insight into the hangups in the contract extension talks in San Francisco. Per Maiocco, the 49ers are not prepared to pay Harbaugh “like a Super Bowl-winning coach” because he hasn’t won the Super Bowl. Harbaugh has taken the 49ers to three straight NFC Championship games, but lost to the Ravens in his only Super Bowl trip.
The 49ers are reportedly offering a short-term deal with lower guarantees than the league’s top echelon of coaches with incentives that would bump Harbaugh up into that tier if he wins a Super Bowl. The team also reportedly gave Harbaugh the right to seek endorsement deals with team sponsors to bump his income closer to desired levels with Harbaugh ultimately taking in an extra $1 million.
As a result, Maiocco reports that Harbaugh’s future with the 49ers remains uncertain even after he decided not to jump to Cleveland earlier this year. Maiocco reports that defensive line coach Jim Tomsula was the likely replacement at head coach if Harbaugh did jump to Cleveland and would presumably be if he leaves the team for some other reason in the near future.
UPDATE 6:42 pm E.T.: In a tweet directed to Florio and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, 49ers CEO Jed York said the report about trade talks with the Browns “isn’t true.”