Is Jim Harbaugh returning to NFL? Potential landing spots for Michigan coach

Could Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh have finished his final season with the Wolverines?

According to Bruce Feldman of Athletic, multiple sources indicate that Harbaugh “may be tempted” to leave Ann Arbor and return to the NFL after his most successful season in Michigan.

Despite Michigan’s brutal end to the season with a 34-11 loss to Georgia in the Orange Bowl semifinal game, Harbaugh earned the honors of AP Coach of the Year and helped the Wolverines have their first overall championship in the Big Ten since 2003. He also led Michigan to defeat Ohio State for the first time since 2011 in Ann Arbor.

Harbaugh was the 49ers head coach for four years from 2011-14, leading the team to the Super Bowl in 2012 and losing to the Ravens (who are still coached by his brother, John Harbaugh). While rumors about the Michigan coach continue to circulate, there are several speculations about where he could end up in the league. Several teams are projected to have openings, and there will undoubtedly be more after the conclusion of the NFL regular season.

Harbaugh has not confirmed any rumors and has yet to comment on the speculation.

Harbaugh’s contract with the Wolverines is also worth taking note of. He received a sizable pay cut in 2021 and his base salary was reduced from $ 8 million in 2020 to $ 4 million in 2021, however, he received $ 1 million in bonuses for winning the Big Ten championship and $ 500,000 each for winning the Big. Have East. division and make the playoffs.

His contract termination was also lowered to $ 2 million in 2021, and will be lowered by $ 500,000 each year through 2025. Will Harbaugh return to the NFL? Sporting News has you covered with details on all the possible landing spots for the Michigan coach:

Possible NFL landing spots for Jim Harbaugh

Chicago bears

With coach Matt Nagy apparently leaving, Harbaugh has the potential to be the most suitable replacement in Chicago.

The Bears initially selected Harbaugh with the 26th pick in the 1987 NFL Draft. Je went on to play in Chicago from 1987 to 1993. If he ends up returning to Chicago, he can help develop second-year quarterback Justin Fields. and possibly change the franchise.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Since Urban Meyer was fired earlier in the season, the Jaguars also desperately need a coach to right the boat.

After recording 17 interceptions during his rookie season, the highest total picks during the 2021 season, quarterback Trevor Lawrence will need more guidance heading into his second year in the league. Harbaugh can help develop Lawrence and help give Jacksonville a boost to move forward.

Cleveland browns

If the Browns decide to dump coach Kevin Stefanski, Harbaugh could end up in Cleveland.

While Cleveland’s offense has struggled with injuries, Harbaugh can work with the Browns and reshape the offense. While Baker Mayfield had some success throughout the season before sustaining a shoulder injury, Harbaugh can help reorganize the offense around the young quarterback.

Las Vegas Raiders

According to Feldman’s report, the Raiders could be a prime spot for Harbaugh, having started there as a quarterback coach in 2002-03 with Bill Callahan. Harbaugh is also apparently friends with Raiders owner Mark Davis.

Working with quarterback Derek Carr, Harbaugh can help develop Las Vegas to become more disciplined and eventually a winning franchise. However, if interim coach Rich Bisaccia helps the Raiders earn a spot in the wild-card game, he can potentially keep his job.

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle struggled with injuries throughout the season and lost several critical weapons on offense. The Seahawks finished the season 6-10 and failed to make the playoffs with their most recent 25-24 loss to the Bears. Is that enough to force a leadership change from Pete Carroll to Harbaugh? Both have a proven ability to succeed both college and career, and Harbaugh is 12 years younger than Carroll.

QB Russell Wilson’s uncertain future with the Seahawks could be something Harbaug will deal with if they hire him to lead the team.

New York Giants

Joe Judge will end his second losing season in New York this year, and he hasn’t gained much confidence behind a struggling offense under quarterback Daniel Jones. While the quarterback’s situation may be uncertain with Jones ‘neck injury, Harbaugh can lead in rebuilding the Giants’ offense.