And so it begins. While Jim Harbaugh doesn’t have the type of heat Jon Gruden commands when it comes to NFL coaching rumors, the Michigan head coach is going to be a hot name every single year around the league, probably until he either comes back or retires.
And now that we have some teams like the Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers fading into oblivion with their current head coaches looking like goners, Harbaugh has emerged as an option in 2018. In fact, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, not only will teams look into Harbaugh’s availability, he’ll “be in demand” by teams looking to upgrade.
La Canfora speculated the Cleveland Browns could potentially attempt to rekindle conversations with Harbaugh, who was reportedly a trade target of the Factory of Sadness. He also speculated that the Colts could try to reunite Harbaugh with his Stanford quarterback, Andrew Luck.
“With the Colts going through some bumpy times with injured franchise quarterback Andrew Luck, and controversy swirling about allegations that Irsay insinuated Luck’s recovery from major shoulder surgery was somehow ‘mental,’ reaching back to the man who coached Luck at Stanford would have a particular allure as well. Irsay’s reputation in coaching circles is hardly pristine however, though Harbaugh has obvious ties to that area from his playing days.”
One wonders how much longer Harbaugh will be content to coach at Michigan. Since his days at San Diego coaching the Toreros, Harbaugh hasn’t stayed in one place long. His caustic personality and relentless grind have rubbed many the wrong way. Now that Harbaugh is in his third year with the Wolverines, he might be reaching the point of needing to move on soon.
So if a team at the NFL level offers Harbaugh — a proven winner and short-term master motivator — significant roster control and a huge salary, perhaps he’d be willing to make the jump back to the pros once again.