The Cleveland Browns were ridiculed in some circles for the length of its coaching search, but there may have been a very good reason why.
According to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, the Browns apparently had a deal in place to trade for Jim Harbaugh. Yes, current San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh. A trade was reportedly in place that would have shipped Harbaugh to Cleveland with multiple draft picks returning to San Francisco, but Harbaugh ultimately changed his mind and nixed the deal. A completed trade would have pitted Jim and John Harbaugh against each other twice annually as AFC North rivals.
Both teams have declined to comment on the alleged deal. We have no inside sources here, but have to believe Florio has rock-solid confidence in his sources to go forward with something like this.
Harbaugh has angled for a contract extension from San Francisco for some time but the two sides have not completed a deal as of yet. Meanwhile, of course, Cleveland ultimately hired Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine to be its head coach.