Jim Harbaugh has a great thing going leading the Michigan football program, but an NFL return could potentially happen.
Michigan football head coach Jim Harbaugh just led his alma mater to a Big Ten Championship and a College Football Playoff berth, but the NFL beckons.
Bruce Feldman of The Athletic reported on Tuesday that Harbaugh might be tempted to leave the Wolverines if the right NFL job opened up. Harbaugh did coach the San Francisco 49ers previously, leading them to the NFC playoffs three times and a Super Bowl berth. While it ended poorly for him in San Francisco, there is no doubt about what the successful head coach can do in the NFL.
If Harbaugh does get the itch to go back to the NFL this offseason, these are the three jobs he could potentially leave Michigan for.
Jim Harbaugh: 3 NFL teams to potentially leave Michigan football program for
Jim Harbaugh is a peer of John Elway’s and that Stanford connection is a real one
An outside candidate to get Harbaugh would be the Denver Broncos. This is considered to be a stable organization, despite largely bad quarterback play outside of Peyton Manning since John Elway retired. Elway and Harbaugh are peers and they also have the Stanford connection. If new general manager George Paton thinks Harbaugh is an upgrade over Vic Fangio, this could happen.
Las Vegas Raiders
Aligning oneself with Derek Carr could be massive for the Las Vegas Raiders
Though Rich Bisaccia has done very well taking over for Jon Gruden in the interim, the Las Vegas Raiders are one of the most alluring vacancies in this cycle. This could be a playoff team because Derek Carr is a stud at quarterback. Harbaugh got his coaching start for the Silver and Black in 2003 after retiring as a player. He is also supposedly very tight with Raiders owner Mark Davis.
Chicago Bears may go the Mike Ditka route to hire one of their own to save them
The Chicago Bears love to live in the past. If they want it to stop being 1985, they need to hire a head coach who can get the quarterback position right. Since Matt Nagy cannot, then why not hire Harbaugh to coach Justin Fields? Chicago was the team that drafted Harbaugh out of Michigan. He is one of the teams he is best associated with. The Bears may really go the Mike Ditka route here.
Ultimately, Harbaugh should stay in Ann Arbor unless he gets a godfather offer from one of these three teams. That is it. No other job is worth leaving for presently. Harbaugh does not typically stay in one place for very long, but he is coming up on a decade at Michigan. Though he does carry tremendous momentum into year eight in Ann Arbor, the NFL itch may need to be scratched again.
If Harbaugh leaves Michigan for the NFL this winter, it better be for the Bears, Broncos or Raiders.