Ron Agostini

February 22, 2014

Two-minute drill: Harbaugh to Browns for picks? We’ll pass

The 49ers squashed a report that Jim Harbaugh nearly OK’d a trade to Cleveland for draft picks. The Browns, however, did not deny it.

Reading time, two minutes:

• The 49ers squashed a report that coach Jim Harbaugh nearly OK’d a trade to Cleveland for draft picks. The Browns attracted Harbaugh with the following carrots: No quarterback, a franchise tangled with legal problems and the prospect of meeting his brother twice a year in the same division.
• The episode does draw attention to other Harbaugh issues, like no contract extension and a growing rift with GM Trent Baalke.
• Or maybe, if the story was true, Harbaugh awoke from a stupor and wondered, “Cleveland? What am I doing?”
• Thank the NFL Scouting Combine for major news about Johnny Manziel: He’s 5 feet, 113/4 inches.
• What we already know and what the combine never can tell us: Manziel plays like he’s 6-113/4.
• This just in: Russell Wilson, the Super Bowl-winning quarterback, stands 5-105/8.
• Conclusion: Measurables at the combine reveal next to nothing about ability and desire.
• Why the NFL is wildly successful, Reason 535: It sells non-games as good or better than the games themselves.
• NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell netted $44.2 million in 2012. Perhaps he can send a portion of that to his injury-mangled former players.
• An Olympic salute to Sierra-at-Tahoe on Interstate 50, the resort which has produced two Olympic gold medalists: Jamie Anderson (slopestyle) and Maddie Bowman (halfpipe). Yes, Sierra’s terrain parks are first-rate.
• Bowman, Anderson and Squaw Valley’s Julia Mancuso (four medals in the last three Olympics) spark an ongoing drive to return the Olympics to Reno-Lake Tahoe. The next available date: 2026.
• Reno-Tahoe officials should follow the model of Salt Lake City in 2002 – something about Salt Lake’s $100 million profit.
• Pitcher Nick Vander Tuig (Oakdale) made one outing last season for the San Jose Giants. Sounds like he’s heading back to San Jose.
• The last time we saw Vander Tuig, he pitched UCLA to a College World Series title.
• A coach who got it right on and off the court for over three decades: Angelo Naldi, who stepped down at Livingston.
• The American male and female singles figure skaters did not earn an Olympic medal for the first time since 1936. Break this news gently to Dick Button.
• Hard to hold a grudge against Canada for beating the U.S.A. men and women. It’s hockey, after all, and the Canadian women now own their own “miracle on ice.”
• Someday, it will happen for the American men. One-fourth of the NHL’s players are from the U.S.A.
• Out with the old (Bode Miller) and in with the new (18-year-old Olympic slalom gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin).
• The American speedskaters were shut out. Methinks it wasn’t Under Armour’s fault.
• A gutsy performance the last two weeks by “Ol’ Red Eyes”: NBC’s Bob Costas.
• After the closing ceremonies, next on the agenda for Sochi: Summer.
• The people who run Mt. Rushmore must love LeBron James.
• The NBA trade deadline passed and Pau Gasol is still a Laker. Unpack again, Pau.
• If college football wants to give the defense a better chance, we have an idea: Quit stopping the clock after first downs.
• Fans love the up-tempo offenses. Alabama’s Nick Saban does not. Memo to Saban: Not every rule change is designed to lock in a national championship for the Crimson Tide.
• Navorro Bowman’s injury vs. Seattle will sideline him for half the 2014 season. It looked bad at the time, and it’s even worse.
• The 49ers will extend Harbaugh’s contract in the near future – with a tip of the hat to the Browns.

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