Owner: 49ers quickly nixed Browns

Updated: February 25, 2014, 10:37 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York says the team wants to keep Jim Harbaugh and had "no interest" in a deal to send the coach to the Cleveland Browns.

York addressed Harbaugh-to-Cleveland reports Monday in an interview with the Sacramento Bee. Although he acknowledged the Browns inquired about Harbaugh, York emphasized that the Niners quickly rejected the proposed deal.

"Not far at all," York told the Bee when asked how far talks progressed. "We had no interest in entering those discussions."

Pro Football Talk reported Friday that the Browns and 49ers were close to a deal that would have sent multiple draft picks to San Francisco as compensation for Harbaugh, who ultimately rejected a move to Cleveland.

York took to Twitter on Friday to refute the report. He explained his quick denial to the Bee, saying that the teams were never as close to a deal as Pro Football Talk had indicated.

He also repeated that the Niners want to secure a long-term deal with Harbaugh.

"We want Jim to be our head coach, and we've said that very clearly," York told the paper.

Harbaugh, who has coached the Niners to three consecutive appearances in the NFC Championship Game, also refuted the initial report last week, telling ESPN he was not aware of any deal with the Browns.

Cleveland, which has not denied its interest in Harbaugh, released a statement Friday that confirmed the team's confidence in new coach Mike Pettine, who was hired Jan. 23.

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said talks occurred with the Niners about Harbaugh, telling USA Today Sports that nothing materialized.

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