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49ers' Jed York on Jim Harbaugh: Browns reached out

INDIANAPOLIS -- Talk to five different people at the NFL Scouting Combine about Jim Harbaugh's dalliance with the Cleveland Browns, and you get five different versions of the story.

We don't expect to get a definitive public word on the issue, but San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York made his most expansive public comments yet to Peter King of TheMMQB.com. (Even if it was only one sentence.)


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"The Browns reached out to me, and we had no interest in pursuing it," York told King.

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam told USA Today on Sunday, "There was an opportunity there, and it didn't materialize."

Around The League ran into Haslam in the hallways of Lucas Oil Stadium this week, and he only said that the Browns were happy with the coach they got.

ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio ignited the story Friday afternoon, reporting that the Browns and 49ers had worked out trade compensation for a possible deal before Harbaugh nixed it. A high-ranking Niners official told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, meanwhile, that the PFT report was "completely false" and "ridiculous."

Rapoport then reported Saturday that both the Browns and the University of Texas had reached out to Harbaugh's agent about a potential move. Harbaugh briefly considered the options and decided he wasn't interested. Rapoport reported there were no true trade talks.

We don't expect Haslam, York or Harbaugh to comment on the story much further this offseason. It doesn't help anyone.

The focus will turn from what happened to what will happen between Harbaugh and the 49ers before training camp. The 49ers and Harbaugh can't be comfortable with having their level of commitment to each other questioned.

There's one way to change that: A big, new contract.

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