It took years for Harbaugh to get the Michigan football program turned around, and it appears that a year after finally slaying the Ohio State giant, winning a Big Ten Championship, and guiding the program to the College Football Playoff, it seems he’s got aspirations to try his luck in the NFL once again.
Harbaugh coached with the San Francisco 49ers from 2011 to 2014, reaching the Super Bowl in 2012 only to lose to his brother John and the Baltimore Ravens. Harbaugh compiled an outstanding 44-19-1 record with the 49ers before wearing out his welcome, in turn heading back to Ann Arbor. Shockingly the 49ers and Harbaugh parted ways when principal owner Jed York sided with general manager Trent Baalke after he and Harbaugh continued to butt heads.
Looking at the debacle in Jacksonville this past season, where Baalke currently serves as the general manager, confirms that York made the incorrect choice. Now, I’d say the 49ers are pretty happy with the current state of their franchise with John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan at the helm, but there were a few dysfunctional years before they got it right.
It’s been reported that Michigan football’s Jim Harbaugh is expected to become the next head coach of the Miami Dolphins.
Nearly hours after firing Brian Flores, Dolphins owner, and significant financial contributor to Michigan football, Stephen Ross, said he wouldn’t be the one who takes Jim Harbaugh away from the Wolverines.
Following that statement, Harbaugh’s name was continuously linked to many NFL head coaching rumors, whether it was the Chicago Bears where he played as a professional or the Las Vegas Raiders knowing he and owner Mark Davis are friends.
Recently the Bears hired Matt Eberflus, who most recently served as the Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator. Sunday news broke that New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is set to accept the head coaching job in Vegas.
I wonder, with Harbaugh supposedly having interviewed Saturday evening with the Minnesota Vikings per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk if he’s mentioned to Ross in Miami that he’s leaving Michigan for the NFL. If that’s the case, perhaps that’s swayed Ross to shift gears on his initial statement saying he wouldn’t be the one to take Harbaugh away from the Wolverines.
Let me say this, where there is smoke; there is fire.
If Harbaugh was returning to Michigan football, why on earth would he be interviewing for any job in the NFL?
Also, why hasn’t Michigan given him a contract extension or at the very least restructured his current deal?
Harbaugh had his salary slashed in half following last season, and it was widely assumed that he’d not only see his salary return to $8 million annually but, after a stellar season, perhaps find himself earning in the $10 million range on a new deal.
I’ve mentioned in the past; if Harbaugh wanted to try his hand in the NFL again, there would be no better time than now. Although it took about five years longer than expected, Harbaugh can leave the program without a guilty conscience.
Harbaugh did turn the program in Michigan around, beat Ohio State, made the final four, and perhaps was insulted a year ago having that salary slashed. Harbaugh is an odd guy and someone that can hold grudges; he may not have gotten over that decision from a school that, let’s face it, prints money.
The Wolverines have been very reluctant to capitalize on the new NIL rules, which may also infuriate Harbaugh knowing other big-time programs have a leg up in recruiting.
If Harbaugh leaves, it puts the Wolverines in a tough situation knowing they’ve also just lost their defensive coordinator, Mike Macdonald to the Baltimore Ravens.