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Las Vegas Raiders, Jim Harbaugh expected to have a mutual interest

Jim Harbaugh, Las Vegas Raiders

The Las Vegas Raiders hired an iconic head coach in 2019 and with Jim Harbaugh interested in an NFL return, Mark Davis could be poised to repeat history by bringing in another marquee name.

Months after Jon Gruden resigned, the Raiders’ coaching search is finally underway. New NFL rules allowed teams with coaching vacancies to begin interviews with coaching candidates after Week 16. While Davis won’t start meeting with potential hires until after the season ends, there might already be a leading candidate.

Reports surfaced this week that Harbaugh is interested in returning to the NFL sidelines, with an eye on the Raiders and Chicago Bears. Now, with his interest confirmed, new details are suggesting a deal with the Raiders could be even more likely.

  • Jim Harbaugh college record: 90-45 overall, 61-24 at Michigan

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Saturday that Harbaugh is expected to have interest in the Raiders and the feeling is mutual. Davis will still conduct an exhaustive coaching search, but the ties between Harbaugh and the franchise are very real.

“But at the least, there’s enough interest on both sides to make us think this is at least somewhat real. Though as one source who is very well-informed of this told me last night, Harbaugh loves to be courted.”

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on interest between Jim Harbaugh, Las Vegas Raiders

While Harbaugh’s ties to the Raiders aren’t quite as strong as his history to the Bears, the opportunity might be even better. Allegiant Stadium is one of the best NFL stadiums, Las Vegas is an extremely attractive spot for potential NFL free agents and there are already pieces in place to compete for the playoffs.

  • Jim Harbaugh NFL record: 44-19-1, 5-3 in playoffs

It’s also possible Harbaugh uses the NFL as leverage. He agreed to take a pay cut after the 2020 season then went on to help Michigan reach the College Football Playoffs for the first time in program history. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Michigan’s booster make him one of the highest-paid college football coaches in a few weeks.

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