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Unnamed 49ers source denies report of near Harbaugh trade to NFL Media

San Francisco 49ers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Getty Images

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.

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21 Responses to “Unnamed 49ers source denies report of near Harbaugh trade to NFL Media”
  1. tvjules says: Feb 21, 2014 5:45 PM

    I’m guessing Harbaugh leaves San Fran at the end of his contract.

  2. ravenswhat says: Feb 21, 2014 5:45 PM

    Put your stinkin name to it COWARDS

  3. sonoco says: Feb 21, 2014 5:47 PM

    So multiple NFL sources (that remain unnamed) is OK for the original story but not the denial? Go figure.

  4. wishingtonredslur says: Feb 21, 2014 5:49 PM

    That would be a bad decision Cleveland. A very bad decision.

  5. zsking1 says: Feb 21, 2014 5:50 PM

    So three nfc championship game appearances and a super bowl appearance gets you shipped to Cleveland?

  6. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 21, 2014 5:52 PM

    The deal collapsed because the 49ers wanted draft picks and the Browns were offering future fuel rebates.

  7. sirsupersouthern says: Feb 21, 2014 5:56 PM

    I think whoever was trying to pull that trade off in Cleveland had the right idea. Harbaugh is a proven winner who’s still pretty young and passionate, and clearly knows how to coach up QBs.

    A winning coach for some draft picks who may or may not pan out? All day every day. Just look who Cleveland had to settle for instead…

  8. disp2 says: Feb 21, 2014 5:56 PM

    “In contrast, the Browns have commented on the story on the record, and the Browns have neither called the story “completely false” nor “ridiculous.”

    Yeah, they said

    “The team conducted an extensive coaching search, and explored several options,” the team said in the statement. “That search produced an outstanding head coach in Mike Pettine and we’re excited about his future with the club.”

    Which does nothing to provide any insight leading to your unnamed source’ assessment. Were these “unnamed sources” the same ones that helped put the “Harbaugh To Texas” reported here into print?

  9. allidoiswin55 says: Feb 21, 2014 5:59 PM

    He was interested in the university of Texas job ,. Turned down same with browns job . It’s pretty well known that he demands ultimate power over the team . He wants the last decision on drafts and personnel moves . Him and Balke regularly disagree and he doesn’t want to extend his contract without getting more control . This has been the snafoo because then Balke gets gives up some power . It’s a classic power struggle . Someone will win someone will lose . Maybe Sf powers believe one is more valuable than the other .

    It’s sort of a known thing that with Jim’s genius comes insanity for everyone else . He typically wears out his welcome and I have no doubts this story is true . Too many signs even before this that this was coming .

  10. h0c2000 says: Feb 21, 2014 6:10 PM

    In contrast, the Browns have commented on the story on the record, and the Browns have neither called the story “completely false” nor “ridiculous.”

    The Browns also haven’t commented on the veracity of the story. So there’s that.

  11. getyourownname says: Feb 21, 2014 6:15 PM

    So would Cleveland have been getting or giving draft picks to make this happen?

  12. jimmydixx12 says: Feb 21, 2014 6:15 PM

    Guy is singularly responsible for their new stadium and their return to relevance – furthermore, what they’ve built there has proven to be sustainable. Why SF would ever entertain this is beyond logic. Stop dancing, Niners, and sign this guy up long-term already.

  13. that's the best linebacker i've seen since Joe Montana says: Feb 21, 2014 6:16 PM

    Boy do I hate the offseason…

  14. dabmasterhap says: Feb 21, 2014 6:22 PM

    Pettine is not settling. He’s Bill Cower 2.0. Just watch as I enjoy the ride.

  15. adderal says: Feb 21, 2014 6:29 PM

    York says its not true, they could both be lying but only one of them reported Terry Bradshaw was dead. Dam this will get deleted too!

  16. hottercold says: Feb 21, 2014 6:36 PM

    Jed York ‏@JedYork 23m
    @ProFootballTalk @RapSheet is this on the record? Report isn’t true

    UMM..I’m pretty sure this is a reliable 49er source.lol

  17. filthymcnasty1 says: Feb 21, 2014 6:52 PM

    Ted Thompson should consider throwing both teams a pick to two to sweeten the deal.

  18. joenash72 says: Feb 21, 2014 7:05 PM

    If Cleveland gets Jim Harbaugh, they would become The Factory of Madness…….

  19. jvibottomline says: Feb 21, 2014 8:12 PM

    Highly doubt story was true, but if it was David Shaw would be the new 49ers coach in about 3 seconds

  20. pantherpro says: Feb 21, 2014 10:21 PM

    Not until he beats the SeaPeds!

  21. doggeatdogg says: Feb 22, 2014 1:21 AM

    So he wants more power and the GM does not want to give any of it up. Is that the snafu? No wonder teams have a hard time hiring GM’s that want all the power and named coaches who want all the power.

    I will forever maintain that the teams should have a team president who has power over coach and GM and who forces the two to work together to get the best players. This I’m GM I hire/fire you nonsense contributes to team disharmony. SF is another example, they nearly traded the coach. In New England, it’s the coach trading the GM.

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