The Jim Harbaugh back to the NFL rumors are alive and well and if we’re being honest, the writing has been on the wall for two years now for the 57-year-old to part ways with Michigan.
Harbaugh only managed a 2-4 record in the virus-shortened season this year and went 9-4 a season ago. He’s also 0-5 against Ohio State, which that record would have likely dropped to 0-6 if the two teams actually played this year.
The timing may not be better from both a Michigan perspective and a Harbaugh perspective for the two sides to call it quits and according to WTOL 11 Sports Director Jordan Strack, Harbaugh has been “actively working to find an NFL job.” Strack’s report comes just a few weeks after Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reported Harbaugh was eyeing a return to the NFL.
A source tells me Jim Harbaugh has been actively working to find a NFL job. That has been the #1 thing holding him up on him signing an extension at Michigan.
This isn’t exactly the most shocking news, but his desire right now is certainly to return to the NFL.
— Jordan Strack (@JordanStrack) January 4, 2021
Harbaugh’s contract with the Wolverines expires after the 2021 season. While he does have one year left on his deal, operating with just one season left on a contract in college football isn’t normal, especially not at a program like Michigan. According to Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports, there is “optimism” in Ann Arbor that Harbaugh will be signing an extension, but that hasn’t happened just yet. The reported new deal would take Harbaugh through the 2026 season at Michigan.
These same sorts of rumors have swirled almost every offseason during Harbaugh’s time at Michigan, but these seem to make much more sense compared to years past.
Harbaugh had a great career as the 49ers head coach going 44-19-1 with a Super Bowl appearance in 2012 before he was pushed out of San Francisco following the 2014 season.
The two most intriguing openings in the NFL at the moment are the Jaguars, who own the first-overall pick this year, and the Los Angeles Chargers with Justin Herbert running the show at quarterback.