Jim Harbaugh reached a new high point in his time at Michigan in 2021. It might prove to be his launching pad back to the NFL.
Harbaugh has emerged as a name to watch in the coaching searches for teams with head coaching vacancies, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday, per sources informed of the situation. One of the teams expected to have some interest in Harbaugh: The Las Vegas Raiders, who have spent the majority of their season operating under interim head coach Rich Bisaccia and can win their way into the postseason Sunday night against the Chargers.
Harbaugh is expected to have some interest in the Raiders as well, per Rapoport, with enough interest from both sides to provide some legitimacy to a potential pairing.
A dalliance between the two would open the possibility of a return to the NFL for Harbaugh, who has spent more than the last half-decade attempting to turn his alma mater back into a contender among college football powers. His work produced the school’s first win over rival Ohio State in his tenure, its first Big Ten Championship Game victory, and its first appearance in the College Football Playoff, where the Wolverines lost to Georgia in the semifinal.
The reported interest between Harbaugh and prospective teams including the Raiders could simply be a leverage play on the part of Harbaugh, who has never been in a better position to draw a boost in compensation and additional security from Michigan. It could also be legitimate and lead him back to an NFL sideline, where he last led the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance before an internal power struggle led to his departure in 2014 after four seasons.
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