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Jimmy Haslam confirms Browns talked with 49ers about Jim Harbaugh

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has confirmed the existence of discussions with between his team and the 49ers about trading for Jim Harbaugh.

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers did have  discussions about trading for Jim Harbaugh. It was denied by 49ers CEO Jed York this weekend after Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio originally reported it. Tee report seemed like complete fantasy, given the amount of success Harbaugh has had with the 49ers since becoming their head coach.

Surely they wouldn't just deal him away, would they?

We now know those discussions did occur after Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has confirmed them:

"There was an opportunity there, and it didn’t materialize," Haslam told Jarrett Bell of USA Today

It's crazy to think how close this actually came to happening, or the fact that the discussions took place to begin with. It certainly doesn't paint a good picture for either the 49ers or Harbaugh., who continue to dispute over a contract extension. He's reportedly asking for more than the 49ers want to pay, as York and the rest of the front office believe Harbaugh's success is the product of their drafting and roster management.

His deal is set to expire in 2015, and the 49ers cannot allow him to go into the 2014 NFL season without an extension, or this will be a huge distraction for a team that figures to be among the NFL's elite once again.