A yr after being firmly on the new seat and in the end accepting a giant wage discount from Michigan, Jim Harbaugh led his alma mater to a Massive Ten championship and Faculty Soccer Playoff look. With that success, the previous 49ers coach is as soon as once more firmly on the NFL radar, Sports activities Illustrated‘s Albert Breer says.
Earlier this week, Bruce Feldman of The Athletic reported that Harbaugh could possibly be “tempted” to make his return to the NFL, citing each Michigan and league sources. The Raiders are the staff with whom Harbaugh has been most intently linked.
“Does he need again in the NFL? Perhaps. My understanding is, regardless of what’s been mentioned publicly, he wasn’t joyful about having to take a pay reduce final yr,” Breer writes in Friday’s “GamePlan” column. “He accepted it solely after exploring NFL openings (the Jets and Chargers have been among the many teams who have been requested about him) and discovering no interest. After a bounce-back yr, and now aligned with an NFL-centric employees, there’s renewed curiosity in him from the professionals.”
Breer floats the idea that Harbaugh could possibly be seeking to “leverage extra money out of Michigan,” after he was knocked from the Massive Ten’s high wage spot to eighth in the league along with his new contract in 2021.
Harbaugh had a extremely profitable run with the 49ers from 2011–14, going 44-19-1 with a Tremendous Bowl look and three straight journeys to the NFC championship. Few accessible coaches have that type of NFL résumé, and Breer says Harbaugh may see the league as “unfinished enterprise,” after main Michigan to a high 4 end and long-awaited win over Ohio State.
“It’ll be fascinating to observe this one over the subsequent couple of weeks, since he’s had unfinished enterprise in the league (getting so near a championship and falling simply brief), and leaving Michigan now would represent going out on a excessive observe, having crushed Ohio State and having gained the Massive Ten this yr,” Breer says. “He simply turned 58, so it’s exhausting to say what number of pictures he has left to do it, particularly if this fall’s success in Ann Arbor isn’t duplicated.”
Like Feldman, Breer cites Harbaugh’s relationship with Raiders proprietor Mark Davis as a possible issue in the choice. Harbaugh’s first teaching job was as Raiders quarterbacks coach in ’02–03, after which he turned head coach on the College of San Diego. The Bears are additionally named as a possible touchdown spot.
For Las Vegas, going after Harbaugh will not be so apparent. The staff can clinch a playoff spot this weekend, which could make shifting on from interim coach Wealthy Bisaccia, who stepped in after Jon Gruden’s departure, tough.
“The concept the Raiders may persist with Wealthy Bisaccia shouldn’t be utterly dominated out—proprietor Mark Davis likes his interim coach, and got here out of the Jon Gruden mess wanting to present him an actual shot,” Breer says.
Gruden, who started his second stint as Raiders coach in 2018, resigned in early October after the discharge of racist, misogynistic and anti-LGBTQ emails stemming from the NFL’s office misconduct investigation into the Washington Soccer Group.
There are rising indications that Harbaugh’s interest is actual. On Thursday, 247Sports reported that the Michigan coach instructed a high recruit that he would “entertain” overtures from NFL teams.
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