There were initial denials and non-denial denials from both sides before Browns owner Jimmy Haslam confirmed Cleveland's attempt to acquire Harbaugh. Now Jed York -- who previously said the report "isn't true" -- has also confirmed that Cleveland tried to acquire Harbaugh.
"The Browns reached out to me, and we had no interest in pursuing it," York told Peter King of The MMQB.
We'll probably never know exactly how far this hypothetical trade went. Whether it was Mike Lombardi who attempted the play for Harbaugh (that makes the most sense; Lombardi worked with Harbaugh in Oakland and Lombardi's son, Mick, works for Harbaugh) or someone else, it's unlikely we'll hear about highly-specific compensation that was discussed.
Or whether the 49ers even invited any discussion or who basically shut it all down.
What we do know now, as CBS Sports Jason La Canfora wrote Monday, is there's some serious tension between Harbaugh and GM Trent Baalke, who are "barely speaking" at this point.
Baalke danced around that idea when asked at the NFL combine about Harbaugh's input in the draft process.
“There's been no change. We continue to work hard at it," Baalke said. "What we're trying to do is get it right for the 49ers. And the best way to get it right is for everybody to be on the same page and to work hard together and try to make the best decisions that you can for the team and the organization as a whole. We'll continue to do that. From that standpoint, nothing's changed."
The reality is a lot has changed in the last few days since the report of a possible Harbaugh trade emerged. Whether or not York and the Niners ever considered it, even the notion of a deal is going to crank up the tension in Niners land.