Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Contact Confirmed by Niners GM


Dec 20, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh watches the game from the sidelines during the final minute of the second quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Levi

The Harbaugh Watch is set to heat up the minute the San Francisco 49ers season ends this weekend, but the University of Michigan has the distinct advantage in courting Jim Harbaugh as the NCAA school has been able to lobby for his services without NFL tampering rules in play for much of the month since the team fired Brady Hoke following a 5-7 season.

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That lobbying was confirmed on Tuesday as it was reported that the two sides have been in contact as the Niners season has fallen apart, starting with a Thanksgiving loss to the Seattle Seahawks before getting upset by the Oakland Raiders. His fate pretty much sealed in San Francisco, Michigan started pushing hard for his services and have obviously been able to contact the former quarterback of the Wolverines through the Niners over the past weeks according to reports.

49ers general manager Trent Baalke confirmed that the team had been contacted by Michigan regarding head coach Jim Harbaugh, according to the Toledo Blade:

"San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke confirmed that Michigan has contacted the organization about the possibility of hiring Jim Harbaugh.“I think the University of Michigan, in reaching out, did handle it correctly,” Baalke told 95.7 The Game, a San Francisco sports-talk radio station, Monday night. “As I look at it, it’s very simple. He’s the head football coach of the San Francisco 49ers.”Baalke reiterated that Harbaugh’s future with the 49ers would not be addressed until after the final regular-season game on Sunday against Arizona. Harbaugh has one season left on his 5-year, $25-million contract with San Francisco."

It is expected that the Oakland Raiders will be making their push for Harbaugh as soon as possible as well, but Michigan has gotten themselves in the door first and have the advantage of being Harbaugh’s former school. However what the Raiders have to offer is a future franchise quarterback in Derek Carr, one of the best young linebackers in the NFL in Khalil Mack, and nearly $60 million in cap space. Once Mark Davis enters the game with a big contract offer of his own, all bets could be off next week if the Niners expectedly fire Harbaugh.