Report: Jim Harbaugh “might be tempted” to leave Michigan for NFL

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As the NFL’s coaching carousel begins to spin, there’s one college coach who might be ready to jump back to the league.

Jim Harbaugh.

Bruce Feldman of TheAthletic.com cites sources from both the NFL and Michigan in his Tuesday report that Harbaugh “might be tempted” to leave his alma mater for an NFL coaching job. Feldman notes one source said, “I think it’s real,” about Harbaugh’s potential interest in the NFL.

Harbaugh led the Wolverines to a 12-2 record in 2021, with Michigan falling to Georgia 34-11 in last Friday’s College Football Playoff Semifinal game at the Orange Bowl.

As noted in Feldman’s report, there’s been plenty of speculation that Harbaugh could land with the Raiders. Harbaugh was the Raiders’ quarterbacks coach from 2002-2003 and is reportedly friends with team owner Mark Davis.

Jon Gruden resigned as Las Vegas’ head coach in October.

Harbaugh was the 49ers head coach from 2011-2014 and compiled a 44-19-1 record. San Francisco won the NFC West in each of Harbaugh’s first two years. Harbaugh lost to his brother, John, and the Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII.

He left the 49ers for Michigan after an 8-8 2014 season.

Feldman also reports the Bears could be a potential destination for Harbaugh, should they choose to move on from Matt Nagy. Harbaugh played seven seasons for Chicago at quarterback from 1987-1993, compiling a 35-30 record.

66 responses to “Report: Jim Harbaugh “might be tempted” to leave Michigan for NFL

  1. Just what the Raiders need. Another FOM as the Head Coach. Sure worked out great the last time. Keep Bissacia.

  2. It makes sense. He took tbhe Niners from the basement to the conference championship in his first season. One play away from winning it all in year 2. The man knows how to win at the pro level

  3. If he stays or goes there’s probably an equal chance he never beats Ohio State again.

  4. College football is all about “the Jimmys and the Joes” and that must frustrate Harbaugh. This season he took the Michigan program about as far as it can go. It’s time to get back to the big leagues where coaching acumen really makes a difference.

  5. Not saying I want him to coach my team, but the owner of my team would be REALLY upset if Harbaugh coached any team but his. His name is on the school of business at Harbaugh’s current place of employment.

    There are no Billionaire’s on earth as eager to write big checks as Stephen Ross.

  6. He’s also gonna use this to leverage Michigan into given him the new $100 mil contract.

  7. Is this like last year when you were pushing Meyer as the hottest candidate, then flipping script when he created the dumpster fire.

  8. It would be nice for Michigan to have a football coach who understands that it isn’t 1986 and you have to be able to pass the ball to beat the truly gifted teams.

    Harbaugh doesn’t seem to understand that reality. Let him walk IMO.

  9. Adding his colorful antics back to the NFL would be welcome. Da Raiders would be an excellent match and so would da Bears! The two ‘da’ teams!

  10. Guy had tremendous success in the nfl. More than most coaches. He deserves the credit…if he wants the nfl or not.

  11. Watch Jacksonville. Shad Khan would be able to fire Trent Baalke without admitting that he made a mistake in hiring him. “I was blown away by Jim and knew we couldn’t land him without saying goodbye to Trent. The fans deserve a strong coach with a proven track record and Jim can get the most out of Trevor.”

  12. Ithaca110 says:
    January 4, 2022 at 4:30 pm
    Is this like last year when you were pushing Meyer as the hottest candidate, then flipping script when he created the dumpster fire.
    ————
    My guess is you haven’t followed the NFL for any longer than 7 years. Just a guess though.

  13. He’s a weirdo but did pretty darn good with the Niners for a stretch there. If my Bears back up the Brinks truck for him I would hope it doesn’t take him as long to beat the Packers as it took him to solve tOSU.

  14. Hey 49’ers fans, when is Jim Tomsula going to get another opportunity in the NFL as the head boy? You’re all so anxious for the Seahawks to keep Pete Carroll around yet your organization fired Harbaugh and hired Tomsula! You’re not a bright bunch, are you? Riding around the Bay Area in a bouncing car looking for a purse snatching opportunity.

  15. greenlantern says:
    January 4, 2022 at 4:40 pm
    He’s a good coach. Better suited for the nfl than college
    ———
    Give him some credit…he did win the Michigan Super Bowl (aka W against Ohio State) this year after only seven seasons.

  16. Clearly related to the Chicago situation. Anyone who thinks otherwise is…wrong.

  17. Jim Harbaugh is a college coach. He knows how to deal with young college players, but his act gets old pretty quickly when he’s dealing with the men in the NFL.

    I feel bad for the fans of any NFL team that hires Jim Harbaugh.

  18. He’s never going to get any further with Michigan so he would be smart to leave now.

  19. WildGarlic says:
    January 4, 2022 at 4:26 pm
    No – we don’t want him at the Bears. We want nourishment, not punishment!

    +++

    As a writer and a hater of words used incorrectly or at inappropriate times, the word “nourishment” there makes me sick. And considering what Harbaugh did in SF — even with TRENT BAALKE AS HIS GM — that might be the dumbest, stupidest post in the history of this website.

  20. radar773 says:
    January 4, 2022 at 5:07 pm
    Jim Harbaugh is a college coach.

    Huh?
    He led the 49ers to 3 NFCCGs and 1 SB.

  21. dangerruss1919 says:
    January 4, 2022 at 4:55 pm
    Hey 49’ers fans, when is Jim Tomsula going to get another opportunity in the NFL as the head boy? You’re all so anxious for the Seahawks to keep Pete Carroll around yet your organization fired Harbaugh and hired Tomsula! You’re not a bright bunch, are you? Riding around the Bay Area in a bouncing car looking for a purse snatching opportunity.

    +++

    At least the 49ers have a future. Your leadership (which we don’t want around, because we don’t like Pete) mortaged all your future for A SAFETY who’s not that good in coverage. We have a quarterback with a tremendous upside, Nick Bosa, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, as opposed to an ego-drunk QB, a 70-year-old coach, a horrible offensive line (for like the 11th straight year), a wideout who’s doing his best T.O. impersonation, and a GM who can’t draft.

    Would rather be us than Seattle any day of the week.

  22. He’s a very good coach, but must not always play well with management. I suspect if he goes to an NFL team with a hands off owner and GM (unlike in SF), it could work. Zim is tired and needs to go be a D coordinator somewhere, but I’m honestly not sure how I’d feel if he’s replaced by Harbaugh.

  23. More like he will leave CFB on the high note of top 4 because he got lucky and is a fraud

  24. It’s hilarious to see all these armchair GMs of losing teams act like they’re somehow above a proven winner.

  25. dangerruss1919 says:
    January 4, 2022 at 4:55 pm
    Hey 49’ers fans, when is Jim Tomsula going to get another opportunity in the NFL as the head boy? You’re all so anxious for the Seahawks to keep Pete Carroll around yet your organization fired Harbaugh and hired Tomsula! You’re not a bright bunch, are you? Riding around the Bay Area in a bouncing car looking for a purse snatching opportunity.

    ////////

    Lol, a post like this in a story that has nothing to do with the 49ers shows how bigly SF lives in Seahawk fan’s head. 🤣

  26. bostonblows says:
    January 4, 2022 at 4:27 pm
    Not saying I want him to coach my team, but the owner of my team would be REALLY upset if Harbaugh coached any team but his. His name is on the school of business at Harbaugh’s current place of employment.

    There are no Billionaire’s on earth as eager to write big checks as Stephen Ross.
    ——————————————————————————————————————
    Really? HC Brian Flores cheap salary… mic drop

  27. Harbaugh would be an upgrade to what Cleveland has. When the coach decides to to abandon the running game while playing the leagues worst run defense (Steelers); when the OL coach decides to have a rookie take on the leagues premiere pass rusher (Watt) with no help, resulting in 9 sacks; when the defense gives up 190 rushing to a mediocre rushing team (Steelers); and when WRs drop passes and the rest of the team takes stupid and costly penalties, there is a problem with the coaching staff. Baker Mayfield isn’t the problem in Cleveland. He’s just the latest QB to have his career ruined there.
    They should also hire coach Cowher to be the ‘football guy’ President to oversee the GM and entire organization.

  28. Ithaca110 says:

    January 4, 2022 at 4:30 pm

    Is this like last year when you were pushing Meyer as the hottest candidate, then flipping script when he created the dumpster fire.

    _________________

    Difference between the two being, Harbaugh already shown that he can be a successful NFL coach.

  29. Harbaugh was the best coach the NFL has seen since Joe Gibbs. The 49ers were among the worst teams in the league. Alex Smith was as bad a QB as we had seen in a while. When Harbaugh took over as coach, there was a strike, so there wasn’t any pre-season. Harbaugh had drafted Kaepernick in the second round, but because of no pre=season, Kap wasn’t ready to go. So, they start the season with Smith at QB, and everyone started saying “suck for Luck”. They thought Harbaugh was sabotaging the team by playing Smith, in hopes of drafting the QB he coached at Stanford. Surprise, surprise. Harbaugh, with Smith at QB, got all the way to the NFC Championship, nearly winning. The next season, Smith stared the first half of the season before he got injured. Kaepernick stepped in and played the second half and managed to lead the team to the super bowl. They were one play away from winning the super bowl with Kaepernick at QB. And he only had about 10 career starts under his belt. The next year, Kap led them back to the Championship game, losing by just a whisker. So, Harbaugh was about two whiskers away from winning back to back super bowls with Colin Kaepernick as his QB, and Kaepernick isn’t even good enough to be a backup in the league. And it’s a QB league. Harbaugh should be offered $25 million a season. Imagine what he could do with a QB.

  30. He needs to stay in college. His style wears thin on professional players. A couple years of him is all most can’t take.

  31. Nothing makes me happier then a weekend where both whiny Harbaugh lose. Boy it was a beautiful weekend. 😊

  32. If I am an owner of some of these franchises that are in the dumpster, Giants, Jaguars etc I am looking at Harbaugh real hard. Personality aside he took a 49er team and turned it around quickly.

  33. All he did was turn around a pathetic 49’er team into a super bowl team….Thank goodness for Baalke as GM who forced him out otherwise they may have been a super bowl contender for a few more years. And Ballke continues his magic taking the Jaguars from an AFC championship game to a 1st round pick! :))) As a Hawk fan I loved “hating” Harbaugh for he was a good coach..Those games with him as coach of the 49’ers were some of the best games with the Hawks. I’d love to see him back in the NFL!

  34. Ok, I debated just posting a couple hundred ha’s but I figured that’s just annoying even to me. I live in UM territory even though I am a Gator first. So Jim are you wanting the money back you gave up in the offseason for being over paid for the first years of the contract? Or did you watch Kelly leave for LSU and huge money and think well I LIKE my alma mater and living in the town I went to school in and having my kids go to school in. But I’d really like huge money more than that. Plus they keep asking for performance in Ann Arbor, and even though I served it up for one year, they may expect it AGAIN?! Harbaugh even in this his best year didn’t really Sniff the National Championship and that’s with being in the Semis. And not looking like they belonged in the building with Georgia. Anyone here think UM is going to start taking the game every year to OSU? I don’t and I live here. This year was a pleasant aberration, and it still had a rough ending. The man will not be here much longer, IMO. I’ll place it at 372 days or less. By the day or two after next year’s championship he won’t be coaching here at UM anymore. And No, there won’t be a parade in Ann Arbor next year as a send off, he hit his apogee and his high mark. Rest is epilogue and disappointment. IMO

  35. Pro players who played for Harbaugh don’t have a lot of respect for him. In college a plyer will only be under his influence for a few years. In the NFL a player may spend ten years or more on a team. After just a couple of years, many players want to get away from him. He’s a toxic figure.

  36. Jim Harbaugh to Jag as GM and Coach. Give him a Gruden like contract and let him run the team as he see fits, Jag will win SB in a few years afterwards. He is a perfect match for a owner with no football background but wants to win just manage him by result and not smooth sound bit /interviews.

  37. He told Jedi that the locker room was for men and was then blasted by team media namely Tim Ryan for a year to make his firing more acceptable. Had a better staff and better results than anyone since. Twice the success than than Shanahan, and he could beat the division.

  38. he isnt going anywhere. he is just trying to get the money back from michigan that they negotiated away last offseason. he wants paid for that playoff appearance.

  39. I have a feeling all this “Harbaugh to the Bears” talk will get about as close to reality as the “Russell Wilson to the Bears” talk did last year.

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