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Jed York Joins NFL Media Twitter Battle To Deny 49ers Nearly Traded Jim Harbaugh To Browns

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Michael Zagaris via Getty Images
Michael Zagaris via Getty Images

Jed York doesn't always join in NFL media Twitter battles but when he does he seemingly prefers to win them.

The CEO of the San Francisco 49ers denied, on the record, a report by Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk that his team had nearly traded head coach Jim Harbaugh to the Cleveland Browns. York's denial came on Twitter as PFT and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com were trading increasingly contentious messages on the subject.

Citing multiple unnamed league sources, Florio initially reported on Friday that a deal had been "in place between the teams" that would have sent Harbaugh to Cleveland in exchange for multiple draft picks. As reported by Florio, the deal didn't come off only because Harbaugh chose not to leave San Francisco.

The Browns subsequently issued a statement on Friday that didn't exactly confirm or deny the report. After a coaching search that lasted 25 days and included interviews with 10 candidates, the Browns hired Mike Pettine, formerly the defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills, in January. The team had just fired Rob Chudzinski after one season at the helm.

"The team conducted an extensive coaching search, and explored several options," the Browns said, via NFL.com. "That search produced an outstanding head coach in Mike Pettine and we're excited about his future with the club."

As the 50-year-old Harbaugh has led the 49ers to three appearances in the NFC Championship Game in his three seasons with the franchise, the report of an agreed upon trade was greeted by some surprise. It was also quickly described as "ridiculous" by an unnamed 49ers source who spoke with Rapoport.

Appearing to take exception to Rapoport's source's characterization of Browns-49ers trade talk report, the @ProFootballTalk account fired back.

At this point, the Twitter battle was on.

With the "he tweeted, he tweeted" argument getting more heated by the retweet, York entered the fray.

As the night wore on, NFL reporters from other media outlets would weigh in on the story without actually clearly up what, if anything, had actually been discussed between the teams.

Early Saturday morning, Harbaugh, still the coach of the 49ers, weighed in.

“For the record, I echo Jed York’s comment…’isn’t true.’ I know nothing about a trade with the Cleveland Browns and us involving me,” Harbaugh told CSN Bay Area’s Dave Feldman via text message.

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