Jim Harbaugh Torn Between Michigan and NFL, Oakland Raiders


After reports surfaced that Michigan are prepared to hand out a $8 million per year salary for Jim Harbaugh, ESPN’s Adam Schefter came out with a Friday afternoon report that surely will disappoint fans of the Oakland Raiders as it appears that the Wolverines have their former quarterback seriously considering his future as his tenure with the San Francisco 49ers is set to come to its end after December.

Schefter posted a new report on his Facebook page indicating that new developments have come to the surface in which family and friends are trying to convince Harbaugh to come back to Ann Arbor after coaching his entire career in California since coming into the Raiders staff back in 2002. Harbaugh’s wife, who was once reported to have wanted to stay in the Bay Area, is also being reported by Schefter as on board with a potential Ann Arbor move. All things that don’t look good for the Raiders as Harbaugh is looking to make his decision as quickly as possible after the end of the Niners 2014 season.

Schefter’s full Facebook post:

"49ers HC Jim Harbaugh’s family and friends have been encouraging him to take the Michigan HC job, but he is torn because his heart is in the NFL, per sources close to the situation.Harbaugh first would like to see what head coaching opportunities come available – and he is likely to be a top choice for a handful of teams – before getting back to Michigan with an answer, per sources.Harbaugh also is aware of the fact that Michigan might not be able to wait for him, especially when it might not even land the coach who is believed to be the school’s top choice. Plus, college football recruiting is in full swing, and the longer a school waits, the more of a disadvantage it can be. It leaves both sides, Michigan and Harbaugh, in a tough and delicate spot, even though they have mutual interest in each other, per sources.Harbaugh would like to finish coaching this season, go through the players’ getaway day on Monday, Dec. 29, and then make his decision as quickly as possible. As another source said, Harbaugh’s agent, Dave Dunn, already “has a good sense of realistic NFL options already.”But as one Michigan source wondered Friday, “If he wants to stay in the NFL, who will pay him $8 million per year?”, an indication that Michigan is prepared to go hard after Harbaugh.There is an undisputed emotional connection for Harbaugh, who played at Michigan, is an iconic figure there, and has been hearing from family and friends about returning as the prodigal son. Harbaugh’s father, Jack, is influential with his son and he has made it known that he likes and admires Michigan’s interim athletic director, Jim Hackett, whom he got to know in the mid 1970s, when he was coaching the defensive backs at Michigan while Hackett was playing center at the school.Harbaugh’s wife also is said to be open and on board to him going back to Ann Arbor if that’s what he wants, per sources.While some have pointed out that recruiting would be a challenge, it is one that does not concern Harbaugh, per sources. Harbaugh believes he has successfully recruited before and he would do so again if he returned to college.But his family and friends have voiced their opinions to Harbaugh, and made it known that it would be an ideal match. Now, likely by the end of the month, Harbaugh must make the decision that will shape his professional and personal life for years to come."

It is no secret that Harbaugh would instantly become the biggest name in Michigan upon taking the job, as the Wolverines basketball team has been the kings of the athletics program for recent years and the massive football fanbase views their former quarterback as an instant savior of the program should he replace the fired Brady Hoke. Recruiting also likely wouldn’t be a problem as Harbaugh is a huge name in football and Michigan’s reputation as a national brand will allow him to build a contender quickly that can compete with Urban Meyer at Ohio State in the Big Ten. Of course an owner like Mark Davis or any other owner in the NFL can come up with an enticing contract to keep Harbaugh in the NFL, but each day it is looking as if the money and campaigning from Michigan will be a problem for the NFL teams as with the Wolverines all in on their only real candidate on the horizon there is serious competition from the college ranks.