The 49ers still haven’t gotten back to us with a response to our report that the team nearly traded coach Jim Harbaugh to the Browns for multiple draft picks.
Someone from the 49ers, however, is talking off the record to the media company the 49ers partially own. Which sort of makes it something akin to a press release. With no one’s name attached to it.
An unnamed 49ers source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL Media that the report is “completely false” and “[r]idiculous.”
If it’s false, why not say so on the record? That’s because, frankly, it’s not false.
In contrast, the Browns have commented on the story on the record, and the Browns have neither called the story “completely false” nor “ridiculous.”
We’ll continue to wait for the 49ers to respond to our request for comment. Or for the 49ers to issue an actual press release denying the story. Without using someone from the league-owned media network to perpetrate a version of reality that isn’t accurate.
We can’t blame the 49ers for trying to call the story false. But their desire for the story to be false will never make it false.