The Browns, who have the NFL's only remaining head-coaching vacancy, have contacted the 49ers regarding at least one of their assistant coaches, head coach Jim Harbaugh said Tuesday.
Harbaugh said Cleveland has contacted him about "our coaches," but declined to offer specifics. On Monday, ESPN reported that 49ers defensive line coach Jim Tomsula could be a candidate for the Browns' job. Earlier this month, Tomsula and offensive coordinator Greg Roman interviewed with the Vikings, who hired Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.
Harbaugh has a relationship with Browns general manager Michael Lombardi, who was part of the Raiders' front office when Harbaugh was an offensive assistant in Oakland in 2002-03.
The Browns finished 4-12 last season and fired Rob Chudzinski after his first season with the team. They reportedly will interview Atlanta offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, and were expected to have a second interview with Buffalo defensive coordinator Mike Pettine on Tuesday night.
Harbaugh mum: Harbaugh - who just finished the third season of a five-year, $25 million deal - declined to discuss whether he planned to have contract-extension discussions with CEO Jed York. In December, York said he hoped to hammer out an extension with Harbaugh in the offseason.
"Until something further changes, which would have to be a principle in my mind that would completely change the way I think, I don't ever talk about contracts publicly," Harbaugh said. "If that principle changes, I will let you know."
NFL talks with team: Harbaugh said the NFL has spoken with general manager Trent Baalke about a sideline collision between a member of the 49ers staff and Seattle's Jeremy Lane during the NFC Championship Game.
Lane was pushed deep into the Niners' sideline while covering a punt and was knocked to the ground when he came in contact with an unidentified member of the 49ers' staff. Harbaugh said the staff member didn't intend to impede Lane's progress.
"It was bang-bang," Harbaugh said. "I could be called for a witness on that because I saw it."
Injury news: Running back Frank Gore suffered a broken right ring finger Sunday. Harbaugh said he didn't know Gore was injured until after the game. Gore didn't have a carry in the game's final 18 minutes, but did make a 17-yard catch on the final play before the two-minute warning.
Harbaugh also said left tackle Joe Staley suffered a compound dislocation of his thumb in the first quarter. Staley missed one play.
Gore and Staley are among eight 49ers voted to the Pro Bowl who won't play in Hawaii, either because of injuries or to take time off. That group consists of linebacker NaVorro Bowman (knee), guard Mike Iupati (leg), defensive tackle Justin Smith, linebacker Patrick Willis and tight end Vernon Davis. Davis will be replaced by retiring Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez, whose fourth Pro Bowl will be his last game.
On Monday, linebacker Ahmad Brooks told the San Jose Mercury News he would be the only S.F. player to attend the Pro Bowl, but Brooks was replaced by Washington's Brian Orakpo on Tuesday.
The 49ers will be represented by one player at Sunday's game in Honolulu: On Tuesday, rookie safety Eric Reid replaced Seattle's Kam Chancellor.
Front-office moves: The 49ers announced team President Gideon Yu is resigning from his role and will be replaced by chief operating officer Paraag Marathe.
Yu, who will continue as a co-owner, was previously the CFO at Facebook and YouTube and used his Silicon Valley contacts to secure financing for $1.2 billion Levi's Stadium, which will open this year. According to a news release from the team, Yu was instrumental in landing an $850 million stadium-construction loan, the largest ever in professional sports, and a $200 million financing package from the NFL.
Marathe, who has spent more than 13 years with the team, presumably will continue in his role as chief player salary negotiator. He will be replaced as COO by Al Guido, who worked with the 49ers and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority in selling seats for the prospective stadium.
By Eric Branch - San Francisco Chronicle (MCT)
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