Teams can still trade for head coaches

Getty Images

Amid the ongoing talk that the 49ers will trade coach Jim Harbaugh, some of you politely have asked for a refresher as to the rules regarding a trade for a coach.  Some of you, far less politely, have insisted that the NFL has changed the rules to prohibit trades of head coaches.

The league office has confirmed that trades can indeed be made of head coaches.

“Except for head coaches and high-level club employees (club presidents, general managers, and persons with equivalent responsibility and authority), clubs are not permitted to exchange draft choices or cash for the release of individuals who are under contract to another organization,” the league’s anti-tampering policy states.

When coaches are traded, it doesn’t happen the same way players are traded.  Typically the coach’s contract doesn’t get shipped to a new team.  Instead, the two teams agree on compensation (draft picks and/or cash) that would be exchanged if the new team works out a contract with the coach.  If that happens, the current team releases the coach in exchange for the compensation.

So, yes, Harbaugh can be traded.  Whether he actually is traded remains to be seen.

51 responses to “Teams can still trade for head coaches

  1. Florio, I think it’s adorable you think Harbaugh is going to get traded. Face it, Harbaugh is staying with the Niners. I know that makes you mad 😦

  2. Another thing that isn’t mentioned, is the fact that the headcoach getting traded can refuse to be traded – as his contract isn’t part of the trade.

    If I’m Harbaugh, I reject the trade and force the 49ers to sack me. Why go to a team that has just given up decent draft choices to get my services.

    Those draft choices will be needed to bring in fresh talent…

  3. orivar says:
    Dec 2, 2014 6:25 PM
    GMs can be traded too?! How much do Idzik and Reggie McKenzie go for?
    ========================

    i’ll give you tree fiddy.

  4. If pretendzie trades draft picks for a coach… He will definitely become a mole within the raidazzz organization. Only Matt Millen has done a worse gm job.

  5. Lmao it says it’s against the rules to trade a gm…can you guys read?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    It says no such thing. Can’t you read? It specifies in parenthesis what it means by “high level executives” and clearly says that club employees cannot be traded except those employees and coaches.

  6. Harbaugh isn’t taking a huge pay cut to go to Michigan. Michigan is a horrible job. No pay and you have to live in Michigan….. Double whammy.

  7. well the real question is if Harbaugh gets fired does his contract states that he does not get the 5 million guaranteed next year, if he takes another job…..if not 5 million to sit on a couch, or get a few extra million working in the media for one year , and then coach…..bottom line he has 5 million reasons to ride it out.

  8. I’m not sure why there is all of this talk about getting rid of highly successful parts of a team. First, they talk about Nick Foles not being the future in Philly and the rumors of RG3 going to Philadelphia. Now there’s talk about Marshawn Lynch leaving Seattle. And then, there’s talk about Harbaugh.
    Eagles situation: Keep Foles
    Seahawks situation: Keep Lynch
    49ers situation: Keep Harbaugh
    I think we have all forgotten what Harbaugh had brought to a bad team. Before him this team was bad, and then he comes and these Niners go to the Super Bowl.

    What these guys don’t get is that without these icons on their team, they are looking at an uncertain future with a risk taking their positions.

    Given: RG3 fits perfectly into Chip’s offense
    Given: The Seahawks would probably have success without Lynch
    Given: The skill of these 49ers are good enough to go without Harbaugh
    But if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

  9. Guys…

    The point of the article is that there are no trades for the head coach to refuse.

    The teams “talk”. They agree on compensation if the coach happens to be fired and happens to sign a deal with the other team.

    The coach and his agent would be aware of these conversations as no team is going through this process if they don’t know what it takes to make the coach happy.

    It’s a gentleman’s league at this level.

  10. No more than a 3 year deal for Jimbo no matter where he goes… That’s when he wears out his welcome with anyone/anything and time to pack up the ponies and bring the carnival to a new town…

  11. mrlaloosh says:
    Dec 2, 2014 6:59 PM
    Harbaugh isn’t taking a huge pay cut to go to Michigan. Michigan is a horrible job. No pay and you have to live in Michigan….. Double whammy.

    ——————————————————————————————-

    You must not follow college football. College coaches at top schools (like mich) pay their coaches far more then the nfl coaches. Plus they get 100% control over the players they choose and the coaches they want under them. No meddling GM telling to tell them no.

  12. Much like the Redskins name change, this ain’t happening no matter how badly the media wants it to.

  13. If I was the owner, I would send others packing before losing the coach that got me to three straight championship games and a SB in his first three years………Hope he stays put; love the rivalry with the Hawks.

  14. Many of you are probably old enough to remember, or NOT, but Oakland did this in 2002, when they traded Jon Gruden to Tampa Bay, for four draft picks–two first-rounders and two second-rounders–and $8 million.

    But the funny part about this story is, Gruden goes to Tampa and they play the Raiders in the Super Bowl. The new coach Raiders coach, Bill Callahan, supposedly used alot of the same terminology for his play calls that Gruden ran in Oakland, the Bucs defense knew the tterminology, and we know the end result, but if you don’t the Bucs crushed the Raiders, 48-21.

  15. arlingtonsynn says: Dec 2, 2014 8:22 PM

    Guys…

    The point of the article is that there are no trades for the head coach to refuse.
    —-
    Sorry, but no, that is not the point. It is exactly the opposite. Just look at the headline and consider this:

    Last year, the Browns had a “trade” in place for Harbaugh with the Browns. Done deal for a pair of third round picks. That is a fact, just google it. There are tons of articles about it.

    But Harbaugh is not coaching the Browns now, is he? That is because he would not agree to sign a deal with them when the trade was agreed to. The trade aspect is compensation for releasing the coach from his contract so he can sign with the new team. But because it is a release, the coach is not required to sign with anyone in particular…he is technically a free agent. Therefore, if the coach doesn’t want to sign with the new team, he is, in fact, refusing the trade. Get it now?

  16. mrlaloosh says:
    Dec 2, 2014 6:59 PM
    Harbaugh isn’t taking a huge pay cut to go to Michigan. Michigan is a horrible job. No pay and you have to live in Michigan….. Double whammy.
    ______________________________
    Not to mention Harbaugh went to Michigan, where he was the Big Ten Player of the Year in 1986

  17. Tell the cry baby harbaugh to tell his agent to stop leaking rumors of him being traded.

    nobody is going to trade for this over-rated d-bag.

    and i know the raider hater deep inside of you hopes the raiders give up draft pics for this guy just so you can post for a few weeks how stupid the raiders are for doing it.

    But its not going to happen, and jimmy boy isnt going to oakland.

  18. Harbaugh is the Head Coach for the San Francisco 49ers. He’s not going to be traded, cut, or quit. He hasn’t lost the locker room either. It’s quite humorous how gullible people are. Do you think Brady or Manning will get traded? How about Brees or Rodgers? They won’t be traded or fired for the same reason Harbaugh won’t. Because they win! Get a clue people.

  19. n hope the Titans fire Ken Whisenhunt and trade for Harbaugh..
    3-4 defense is garbage.

    The problem with Whiz is he doesn’t coach to his players strengths, only to his system. Plus he doesn’t want to play rookies no matter when they were drafted or how good they are.

  20. The Raiders will give the 49ers the right to call themselves the Santa Clara 49ers. The Raiders are now the only TRUE Bay Area team.

  21. Harbaugh’s gone, along with Willis, Brooks, Stevie Johnson, Boldin & probably Justin Smith too. 49ers are in salary cap hell and Harbaugh isn’t going to stick around so Pete Carroll can humiliate him twice a year for the foreseeable future.

  22. But the funny part about this story is, Gruden goes to Tampa and they play the Raiders in the Super Bowl. The new coach Raiders coach, Bill Callahan, supposedly used alot of the same terminology for his play calls that Gruden ran in Oakland, the Bucs defense knew the tterminology, and we know the end result, but if you don’t the Bucs crushed the Raiders, 48-21.

    ————————————————————

    And then Gruden goes on to destroy Tony Dungy’s team with mediocre over the hill guys and developing no quarterback and is fired a few years later and the Bucs, like the Raiders, are still yet to recover from…..

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!