Buzz builds of Jim Harbaugh to Raiders


Four years ago, the worst-kept secret in the NFL was that the Raiders will hire Jon Gruden to be the team’s head coach. In the upcoming interview/hiring cycle, the worst-kept secret in the NFL could become that the Raiders will hire Jim Harbaugh as the permanent replacement for Gruden.

For now, buzz is building in league circles that team owner Mark Davis wants, and will get, the former 49ers and current Michigan coach. The man who took a 6-10 team to the NFC Championship in his first year and who nearly won a Super Bowl in his second. The man who went 44-19-1 in four seasons as an NFL head coach.

Plenty of NFL teams can, and have, done a lot worse than Jim Harbaugh. The Raiders, who with a win tonight will have only their second playoff appearance since 2002, are one of those teams.

Of course, if the Raiders win tonight, the case for interim coach Rich Bisaccia could get stronger. If they win a playoff game or two, Davis may feel like he has to keep Bisaccia.

For now, Davis has delayed his search process (as far as anyone knows). He could have been (and perhaps should have been) interviewing candidates by Zoom. That would have allowed him to move more quickly when the time comes to make a hire. (That said, he possibly has interviewed one or more candidates who aren’t currently employed by other NFL teams, including Harbaugh himself. Possibly.)

He’ll undoubtedly comply with the letter of the Rooney Rule. Every team finds a way to do that. Whether the spirit is honored remains a separate question, one that is impossible to guarantee. Especially since many owners decide who they want before they even embark on the search. Rarely does the search change a decision made before the search begins.

For the Raiders, a sense is creeping through the league that Davis wants Jim Harbaugh. It would enhance the team’s chances of becoming a consistent contender, and it would amount to a hearty middle finger to the Raiders’ former Bay Area rivals.

And, yes, the 49ers and Raiders play in the 2022 regular season.

27 responses to “Buzz builds of Jim Harbaugh to Raiders

  1. Here in East Lansing we’re kinda hoping he’ll just stay at Michigan forever we love embarrassing him. Tuck comin’

  2. Mike Zimmer of the Minnesota Vikings will be released on Monday. Vikings coaching choices are all offensive coordinators, in order the Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs-book it Dano!!

  3. If Harbaugh does come to Vegas he’ll be falling into the perfect situation. The team is young and playing very well and has a franchise QB. I see many championships!

  4. I’m all for it. Anything to get him out of Michigan. He shot his wad, next year with all this talent gone is another bah humbug 6-6 season.
    Like many I thought he would be a recruiting machine but the best players go elsewhere because their agents point out, he doesnt win always.
    Exit stage left Jimmy

  5. I can see where coaching in college would frustrate someone like Harbaugh. College coaching is all about having the most talented players. Someone like Urban Meyer, who has demonstrated that he can’t coach a lick, can have great success just because he has the best players. In the NFL coaching acumen counts and bad coach will be revealed. Like him or not, Harbaugh has proven that he is legit and the team that gets him is getting a real coach.

  6. If I were Jim Harbaugh I would go to the NFC. AFC is loaded with young QB’s especially that division. He will be prodding along like he did with Michigan if he takes the Raiders job

  7. He’d be a fool to leave Michigan. IMO he should retire there and cement a positive legacy.

  8. If I were the owner of the Raiders I would hire Jim Harbaugh immediately. Especially now that his D Coordinator “Lord Fangio” is available.

  9. If you paid Chucky $100M/10yrs what are you planning to give Harbaugh, who is a MUCH better coach than Gruden.

  10. I’m sure he would love getting back to the west coast.
    Although I bet he would take Seattle
    Job if it opened just so he could play San Francisco twice every year.

  11. He may have hit his high water mark at Michigan even if he stays. I think he honestly would rather coach men instead of recruiting boys. Especially if the money is a lot better. He deserved his pay cut last year, and he deserves a raise this year.

  12. He did well at Stanford. Did very well with the 49ers. But hasnt been mediocre with Michigan. There is no guarantee he will succeed again in the NFL.

  13. He left the NFL because of having to deal with Trent Baalke. Can’t think of a better reason

  14. He’s a real good coach. He turned SF around and he did the same with Michigan. Any team who gets him is lucky to have him. His players like him and he wins.

  15. Harbaugh would probably be the best coach in the NFL. He did very well in college, beating just about every team except the teams that had three times as much talent. Harbaugh did all his winning at Michigan without a QB. The NFL is different. It’s a QB league. Except for the QB, many of the rosters are pretty similar in talent. Take a Tom Brady off a dynasty and they’re just another team. Put him on a team that hadn’t won a playoff game in 18 years, and they’re super bowl champs. There’s only one Brady, but it shows the impact of a great QB. The crazy thing is Harbaugh was able to win in the NFL without a QB. You have to go all the way back to Joe Gibbs to see that type of success. Harbaugh is worth $25 million a season. I’m sure he’d be very picky about the people in his front office the next time around. Harbaugh figured that out about mid-way through his first season in S.F., but it took Jed York a few years to realize what was going on.

  16. If I were the Raiders GM, I’d be updating the resume. Harbs would want total control of the op, and he’d get it, too.

  17. Interesting.
    I think Jim knows that there is no way UM can ever win a national championship as long as the SEC is on top

  18. If I were Davis I’d sign Harbaugh right now and soon as Zimmer is fired hire him to be the DC.

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