Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh covets a Lombardi Trophy. But he apparently doesn’t think he’ll win one in Denver.
Via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, Broncos CEO Greg Penner met in recent days with Harbaugh regarding the possibility of taking the job in Denver.
The in-person interview came after a video interview — and after Harbaugh announced that he’s staying in Ann Arbor for at least 2023.
The mere fact that Harbaugh took the meeting indicates that the door isn’t completely closed, despite his public comments. Otherwise, why waste everyone’s time?
Regardless, Harbaugh took the meeting. Which says plenty. The Broncos have moved on, which also says plenty.
Schefter downplays the meeting as due diligence. But no diligence is due if, as Harbaugh has said, he’s not leaving. So either the Broncos have decided (for now) not to offer Harbaugh the job, or Harbaugh has decided he doesn’t want it.
The development reconfirms that Harbaugh clearly has interest in returning to the NFL. Otherwise, he would have told Penner to not waste the time and money to fly from Colorado to Michigan.
And until the Broncos hire a coach, it remains theoretically possible that the Broncos will make Harbaugh an offer he doesn’t refuse. If, for example, they want 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and if Ryans prefers the Texans, the Broncos will need to move on to Plan B. Whoever Plan B may be.
It ultimately may be Plan C or D. The Broncos surely will try to characterize whoever gets the job as the first choice all along, for various reasons — including but not limited to persuading the fan base that they got the guy they wanted and not a fallback option.