We’re nearly a week into the spinning of the coaching carousel, and there has been no word of any actual interview of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, none of the teams looking for coaches have reported to the league office an interview with Harbaugh. By rule, all interviews must be reported — whether the coach is currently working for another club or not.
As another source explained it, there are three possible explanations. First, Harbaugh is using chatter of potential NFL interest (the Raiders have been the team connected to him most prominently) to leverage a new deal with Michigan. There are indications that such conversations are currently happening. Second, he actually hasn’t interviewed with any NFL teams, yet. Third, he has interviewed but the interview happened “off the books.”
It’s also possible that Harbaugh, through his agents, wants to have a loose understanding as to what the compensation will be before he goes through the motions of interviewing for an NFL job.
Our guess is that Harbaugh currently is giving Michigan a chance to make him an offer that keeps him from soliciting other offers. At some point, however, he’ll need to look elsewhere for the bag that he may not get in Ann Arbor.
He could get it in the NFL. He went 44-19-1 in four years with the 49ers. The eight teams who are looking for coaches could do a lot worse. All of them have, or they wouldn’t currently be looking for a new coach.