The man who would have been traded to the Browns by the 49ers if the deal had been consummated has responded to the news, by channeling his inner Sgt. Schulz.
That’s a bit of a stretch, based on what has been reported — and based on our understanding of the 49ers’ position on the situation. While CEO Jed York said on Twitter that the report of a trade nearly happening “isn’t true,” the 49ers privately acknowledge that the Browns wanted to make the deal. It’s virtually impossible for Harbaugh to have not known about the discussions, which in the opinion of the 49ers involved the Browns inquiring about Harbaugh and the 49ers quickly saying no.
Multiple reports say otherwise. Beyond our own report (by which we continue to stand), Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that the Browns’ attempt to land Harbaugh reached a “serious stage,” and he confirmed the substance of our report.
We reported that the 49ers and Browns had agreed to compensation, and that Harbaugh ultimately opted not to leave San Francisco.
Regardless of how the dust settles on this one, the sooner the 49ers and Harbaugh put this mess behind them with a long-term extension, the better off both sides will be. Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area has reported that the two sides remain far apart regarding Harbaugh’s compensation, with Harbaugh reportedly wanting to be paid like a Super Bowl-winning coach and the team pointing out politely that the only Harbaugh who has won a Super Bowl is John.