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Michigan football’s Jim Harbaugh reportedly playing hardball on Black Monday

Harbaugh reportedly entertaining offers from multitude of teams

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh watches from the sideline during the first half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game against Iowa, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast) (Aj Mast, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

ANN ARBOR, Mich.University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has become a highly touted man this offseason.

Several NFL teams, such as the Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers and the Chicago Bears have reportedly come calling.

Many believe Michigan’s head football coach will not leave Ann Arbor unless the right opportunity comes along.

Michigan Insider Sam Webb has reported that Harbaugh told top recruit Darrius Clemons and his family that he would “entertain” NFL offers.

Per the report, the father of the four-star wide receiver confirmed the statement by saying that he appreciated Harbaugh’s honesty.

How seriously is Harbaugh considering a return to the NFL?

NFL insider Ian Rapoport, of the NFL Network and NFL.com, spoke with Michigan alumnus Rich Eisen on Saturday (Jan. 8) about the head coach jumping back to the pros.

“Jim Harbaugh has emerged as a name to watch in the NFL coaching search,” Rapoport said. “I know he’s under contract with Michigan, and it does seem there’s been some discussion of a potential new deal with the Wolverines. The Las Vegas Raiders are expected to have some interest in Harbaugh. There is enough interest on both sides, but as one source told me last night, ‘Harbaugh loves to be courted.’”

Harbaugh began his coaching career with the Raiders as a quarterbacks coach in 2002 for owner Al Davis. According to reports, the new owner and son, Mark Davis, is very fond of Harbaugh and would love for him to lead the black hole into another stratosphere.

He is familiar with the Bay Area, as he coached Andrew Luck at Stanford. He coached Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance before returning to Ann Arbor, where he’s leading his alma mater.

17. QB Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers - $19 million (Harry How/Getty Images)

Harbaugh has an admirer in Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, who, like Harbaugh, is an alumnus and a major booster for Michigan. Harbaugh’s name always comes up during the offseason, but that was especially the case this season when the Dolphins went through a seven-game losing streak.

Although the Dolphins recovered by winning eight of their last nine, on Black Monday, head coach Brian Flores was fired after three seasons. Afterward, Ross made a public assurance that he wouldn’t be the one to pluck Harbaugh away from the Wolverines.

Harbaugh is familiar with Halas Hall, as the Chicago Bears drafted him to play quarterback in 1987. He spent six seasons with the organization, becoming the team’s regular starter in 1990. The Bears also fired their head coach, Matt Nagy, so Chicago could be a potential fit.

“Everyone I talked to, and they’ve told me that they believe that Jim Harbaugh will be extended,” Webb told 247Sports.com. “He will remain the coach at the University of Michigan. That’s from several vantage points within the university that’s reaching out to a few people in his circle away from Michigan, they all expect that at the end of the day, he’s happier than he’s ever been. He’s fulfilled. He sees great opportunity on the horizon here. And that ultimately he will be back.”

If Harbaugh is going to the NFL, then now is the time to do so. He is coaching downhill from here, as he finally beat the Ohio State Buckeyes, won the Big Ten conference, the Big Ten championship, and made the College Football Playoff. The only achievement remaining is to win a game in the CFP and ultimately take home the national title.

If he returns and falls short of those goals, then he risks facing further criticism.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh celebrates with his team after the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game against Iowa, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Indianapolis. Michigan won 42-3. (The Associated Press 2021)

About the Author:

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.