Jim Harbaugh rumors: If Raiders offer job to the Michigan head coach, ‘he’d take it’

6 months ago 72
Jim Harbaugh 1-19 GettyImages-ftr. (Getty Images)

Jim Harbaugh might not be staying in Michigan after all...?

The Michigan coach is interested in the Raiders' head coaching position, where he initially began his career in 2003. According to The Athletic's Bruce Feldman, "multiple sources" inside Michigan football think if Harbaugh was offered the position in Las Vegas, he'd take it. 

"They also know that Harbaugh can be hard to read," per Feldman. "Their hunches could be wrong— but they also know he’s never coached anywhere longer than four years prior to his seven years and running in Ann Arbor. They’ve each believed that he, at some point, would want to coach in the NFL again." 

MORE: Jim Harbaugh reportedly told recruit he's listening to NFL offers

On the other hand, The Athletic also published a story on Wednesday with contradicting information on Harbaugh's future with Michigan. The Big Ten school reportedly discussed an incentive-based deal.

These situations can be very fluid, however. If Harbaugh is not enticed to leave for the NFL, it would make sense that a new deal would be in place for the Michigan head coach to sign. This offseason, the pay scale for college football head coaches took a stratospheric leap when Mel Tucker, Lincoln Riley and Brian Kelly each signed contracts worth upwards of $100M at Michigan State, USC and LSU, respectively.

Harbaugh's currently under contract to the Wolverines until 2025 after signing an extension in January 2021. He made $4 million in base salary in 2021, but after a College Football Playoff Semifinal appearance and the shift in top-tier coaches' salaries, Harbaugh has a lot of bargaining power. 

"If Harbaugh has a similar year to the one he just finished, he would get his future annual salary higher than the $8 million number he originally had," an anonymous source told The Athletic. "If he helps Michigan win a national title, the incentives could hike his annual take to eight figures."

MORE: ESPN's Manningcast curse has been undefeated — but will it continue for NFL playoffs?

After making the College Football Playoff and defeating Ohio State for the program's first Big Ten title in 17 years, Harbaugh's stock is at an all-time high, which he joked about during a Zoom call with reporters ahead of the Paul "Bear" Bryant Coach of the Year award ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 13. 

Time will tell what Harbaugh will do and it seems like your guess is as good as anyone's right now. 

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