After the Browns hired Mike Lombardi to serve as the team’s G.M., Jim Nantz of CBS provided a spirited defense of Lombardi against those who in the Cleveland media who claimed he was unfit for a job that he held for barely a year.
Now, Nantz has shed more light on the negotiations that nearly resulted in 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh coaching the Browns.
“I’ve never had this discussion with Mike. But, you know, this whole thing about Jim Harbaugh being entertained by the Browns . . . you know that was Mike being the one trying to execute that,” Nantz told Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com. “That’s one of his closest friends, Jim and John Harbaugh. [Jim was] first brought into the NFL by Mike Lombardi. That was a real out-of-the-box move, just like the [Brian] Hoyer thing. That actually had a pulse. I think that was closer than we ever . . . . Can you imagine had they pulled that one off?”
Nantz pointed out that Lombardi’s son, Micky, serves as Jim Harbaugh’s personal assistant. And all that that implies.
Ultimately, it resulted in nothing. But as time passes it becomes more and more clear that there was much more to the story — despite the aggressive, knee-jerk, categorical denial the 49ers initially leaked to NFL Media.