Jim Harbaugh, Oakland Raiders Momentum Continues to Grow


When it comes to the Jim Harbaugh and where he will coach in 2015 when the San Francisco 49ers inevitably part ways with the wildly successful head coach who holds a winning percentage over .700, the Oakland Raiders have emerged as the clear cut favorite to earn his services. With reports out there that Harbaugh has told Michigan he wants to stay in the NFL, and reports from earlier in the year that Harbaugh’s wife would want to stay in the Bay Area there is an overwhelming sense that if owner Mark Davis pays the price that Harbaugh will be his for the Raiders.

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While that opinion may not be popular in some places, like say the state of Michigan and especially the Ann Arbor area, it is simply a fact for a variety of reasons as Harbaugh’s strong ties to the state of California as well as his desire to win a Super Bowl to match coaching rival Pete Carroll as well as his brother John could keep him in the NFL and with the Raiders who are the team who gave him his first big break in coaching thanks to legendary owner Al Davis.

Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami, who covers both the Raiders and 49ers, laid out the reasons why Harbaugh to the Raiders may just be the most reasonable result when it comes to where the 49ers coach will land in 2015. Citing many of the reasons why the coach who has never coached outside of the state of California thinks that the Raiders are his most ideal landing spot.

From Kawakami:

"From discussions I’ve had with people who know Harbaugh well and from what I’ve consistently heard from NFL sources, the Raiders seem to fit Harbaugh’s ideal scenario better than any other team.He might be the only guy who thinks that way, but he’s the main one who matters at this point.Let’s go through some of the criteria:Every indication is that Harbaugh wants to stay in the NFL and win a Lombardi Trophy, which is impossible to do at the University of Michigan.Do you think Harbaugh wants to leave the NFL after watching his brother and then Pete Carroll win the Super Bowl the last two seasons? No, he does not.Harbaugh and his family also are believed to have a strong preference to remain in the Bay Area—which is one of the reasons he picked the 49ers in 2011, with many other options back then.Notably, Harbaugh has never coached anywhere outside the state of California since Al Davis gave him first job in 2002, and Harbaugh has been in Northern California for 10 of those years.Harbaugh wants to join a team with some talent, especially at quarterback, and the Raiders have Derek Carr, Khalil Mack and a lot of salary-cap space going into next off-season.Would Harbaugh be scared to join a downtrodden team that might finish 2-14 this season? Well, he took over Stanford after a 1-11 season and the 49ers after 6-10."

Kawakami lists many other reasons why the Raiders are a likely landing spot, but the general point is that while other teams in the NFL and Michigan try to convince themselves as well as Harbaugh to make the move it appears all that Mark Davis will need to do is pay the price to get the most coveted head coach in football. For a franchise that has had many failed coaches since Jon Gruden left and Bill Callahan went rogue after the 2002 Super Bowl, that has to be something that shows light at the end of the rebuilding tunnel.