ProFootballTalk

Jim Harbaugh’s wandering NFL eye arises from desire to win a Super Bowl

No one has officially interviewed Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh for an NFL vacancy. But Harbaugh has his eyes squarely on the NFL.

As a source with knowledge of the situation explains it to PFT, Harbaugh is watching and waiting to see whether a team with a reasonable ownership and General Manager situation is interested in giving him an opportunity to continue an NFL career that resulted, from 2011 through 2014, in a record of 44-19-1 and a Super Bowl berth. At age 58, Harbaugh wants to get back to the Super Bowl and win it.

He had that chance in 2012, losing the trophy to, of all people, his brother. Maybe Jim’s desire to get one flows directly from the fact that he has a family member who’s already climbed the mountain.

Some think Jim Harbaugh is simply trying to leverage Michigan into paying him more. Per the source, that’s not what it’s about (which will obviously make some say, “Of course that’s what it’s about”). It’s about unfinished business from nearly a decade ago, when Harbaugh took a 6-10 team and turned it around almost immediately, without the benefit of an offseason program in his first year, thanks to the lockout.

That doesn’t mean anyone will be interested. Jacksonville, where Harbaugh nemesis Trent Baalke is the G.M., won’t happen. Chicago, where Harbaugh was a first-round pick 35 years ago, has handed the search over to Bill Polian, who has yet to pursue Harbaugh.

Some think Raiders owner Mark Davis will eventually make a run at Harbaugh, who started his coaching career there. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has said he won’t take Harbaugh from Michigan. In Houston, Harbaugh would quite possibly be inclined to clunk the heads of Nick Caserio and Jack Easterby together, like Moe Howard with Larry and Curly.

That leaves Denver, Minnesota, and the Giants as potential destinations in the current hiring cycle.

Again, the interest needs to be mutual. For now, Harbaugh is waiting to see whether anyone is interested in him. Given what he did in his prior stint with the 49ers, why wouldn’t someone at least kick tires on the possibility of bringing him back to the NFL?