Jim Harbaugh and Michigan, working toward new contract
It had been a long time coming, but the NCAA threw a kink in the works. Michigan football is currently working to extend head coach Jim Harbaugh’s contract. The extension was supposed to be completed during the bye week, but that was when the Connor Stallion saga began in earnest, putting Harbaugh’s contract extension on hold.
However, according to Sports Illustrated’s Richard Johnson, talks for the Wolverines to retain Harbaugh are progressing.
According to Johnson, Michigan is attempting to extend Harbaugh’s contract for another five years, but a stumbling block is language prohibiting him from exploring NFL opportunities this offseason.
SOURCE: Michigan is working on a contract extension for Jim Harbaugh worth $11M per year/5 years. The main hurdle remaining is a commitment in writing from Harbaugh that he will not pursue an NFL job this cycle.
— Richard🇬🇾Johnson (human) (@RJ_cfb) December 7, 2023
What will Jim Harbaugh do?
Harbugh, 60, was drafted first overall by the Bears in 1987. He was a head coach for the Raiders for 14 years before retiring. He was hired as a head coach by San Diego in 2004 and took the same position at Stanford in 2007.
Jim Harbugh was hired as the 49ers’ head coach in 2007. In 2014, he was fired and replaced as Michigan’s head coach. During his time with the 49ers, he had a 44-19-1 record. This included three playoff appearances as well as the NFL championship. Jim Harbaugh has a record of 85-25 at Michigan. This includes a 1-6 bowl record and three trips to the College Football Playoffs.
In 2022, Jim Harbaugh interviewed with the Minnesota Vikings, resulting in numerous conflicting reports about both his and the Vikings’ interest. He eventually returned to Michigan, and it was soon revealed that Minnesota never even offered him a job.
Chicago Bears factor in potential Jim Harbaugh move to NFL
Harbaugh’s name has been connected to Chicago for months now, as it has been numerous times over the years. But one NFL insider pointed out that a recent hire by the Bears may have a big impact on Harbaugh’s decision to join the franchise.
Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report stated that Kevin Warren and Harbaugh do not have a good relationship at the moment, going back to their days together in the Big Ten:
“They do not have a good relationship. It can be said that they have a terrible relationship,” Schultz said. “Both guys have been pretty critical of one another. … Considering that Kevin Warren is currently the president of the Bears, that’s a fractured relationship that, to me, has no ability to be repaired. I really don’t see a scenario where Harbaugh and the Bears are able to find common ground and have him coach that team. I just don’t see it. In fact, it would stun me if that happened.”
If the Bears do make a coaching change and move on from Matt Eberflus, they will have options. Jim Harbaugh will be a name brought up and if he doesn’t stay in Michigan, the smoke will continue for Chicago.
But they could also look at someone like Detroit’s Ben Johnson or even Washington Commanders offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. Chicago will have a lot of options for a desirable job including potentially holding the No. 1 pick and taking a quarterback or sticking with Justin Fields for another season.
Whatever happens, it’s expected to be a very interesting offseason in the Windy City once again. We’ll keep an eye out for any updates on Harbaugh’s contract negotiations with Michigan.
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