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Jim Harbaugh’s return to NFL reportedly a ‘done deal’

Last offseason, Jim Harbaugh found himself thrust into the NFL head coaching carousel for about a weekend. It almost seemed like a done deal when it was officially revealed that he would be visiting with the Minnesota Vikings about their head coaching vacancy. After all, Harbaugh had long remained defiant in the fact that he had no intention or interest in leaving his helm with his alma mater Michigan Wolverines, yet here he was, flirting with a promotion to the NFL.

But the Vikings never even made an offer to the former San Francisco 49ers head coach, with their heart seemingly already set on coach Kevin O’Connell instead. This led to Harbaugh returning to his spot as the Michigan head coach for another season. While Michigan fell short of reaching the College Football Playoff title game, Harbaugh once again defeated the rival Ohio State Buckeyes and didn’t even lose a game until the Fiesta Bowl defeat to TCU.

With the final week of the NFL regular season approaching, there are expected to be even more head coaching vacancies around the league. There are currently three, with Carolina, Denver, and Indianapolis all searching for their next head coach.

Naturally, being that Harbaugh does have a vast amount of NFL experience, including coaching in the playoffs, he’s bound to be a popular candidate once again.

In fact, a group of football insiders recently suggested Harbaugh has a great amount of interest in taking his talent back to the NFL.

Related: NFL coaching candidates: Best head coach, coordinator and GM candidates in 2023

Report: Jim Harbaugh to rejoin NFL in 2023

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Texas Christian at Michigan
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

According to multiple sources close to Harbaugh who shared their knowledge with The Athletic, the 59-year-old Ohio native is “expected to leave Michigan for the NFL if a franchise offers him a coaching job.”

Once again, this is a major breakthrough, considering Harbaugh said after being passed up a season ago that his consideration of leaping to the NFL would never happen again.

“There was a pull to the NFL because I got that close to the Super Bowl, but this was the time. And this is the last time. Now let’s go chase college football’s greatest prize.”

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh in Feb. 2022

Well, he didn’t quite achieve winning college football’s greatest prize, but maybe now he can chase an even bigger reward — the Super Bowl.

It’s worth noting that Harbaugh’s buyout from his contract at Michigan is $3 million — pocket change for an NFL owner, especially one who may be looking to make a splashy hire.

One source close to Harbaugh recently revealed, “I think it is a done deal if he gets an offer.”

Harbaugh, who boasts the NFL’s sixth-best win percentage of all time at .695%, would appear to be a great candidate for any coaching vacancy. We’ll see if he gets his wish, in the form of an NFL offer in the next couple of months.

Related: Jim Harbaugh drawing interest from Denver Broncos