Jim Harbaugh NFL rumors: Ranking Michigan coach’s best fits, from Bears to Raiders

Jim Harbaugh is on the line for NFL coaching jobs again … or is he? Fresh off Michigan for his first college football playoff appearance, rumors have it that Harbaugh, who went to a Super Bowl while coaching the 49ers from 2011 to 2014, is eager to return to professional play.

Most of them have joined a team, the Raiders. But that team, which had Jon Gruden resign during the season, is first concerned about Saturday’s wild-card playoff game in Cincinnati under interim leader Rich Bisaccia.

Now that Harbaugh’s name has resurfaced to rejoin his brother’s ranks, other teams looking for new coaches after “Black Monday” should consider whether they can make a real run towards him. Here’s a ranking of the vacancies in terms of what can allow Harbaugh to continue to have a high level of success while moving away from his alma mater:

Ranking of Jim Harbaugh’s NFL adjustments in 2022

1. Chicago Bears

Strangely, the 49ers are the team that has employed two former Bears players, Harbaugh and Mike Singletary. The Bears, who fired Matt Nagy, must do everything they can to get Harbaugh back to his first home in the NFL, the franchise that selected him as a first-round quarterback in 1987. Bringing Michigan to the edge of the championships is It is one thing, but rediscovering the Bears’ glory days and pushing them past the Packers is another.

Harbaugh could also do wonders for second-year quarterback Justin Fields, who would come with the advantage of turning a former Ohio State standout into a dynamic NFL double threat under his watch. Harbaugh finally solved the Buckeyes and he can feel like he can leave Michigan in a good place. The Bears desperately need his insight and influence.

2. Denver Broncos

The Broncos don’t have a reliable starting franchise quarterback for second-year general manager George Paton, but that should be part of the appeal for Harbaugh. Denver just fired its former defensive coordinator in San Francisco, Vic Fangio. There are some weapons of dynamic offensive skills (Javonte Williams, Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant, Tim Patrick) and a solid line in place and the Broncos have done well in their quick defensive rebuilding. The Broncos could be the last team to truly be “a better QB” away from winning big, much like the Buccaneers who finished in 2019 before Tom Brady. John Elway should be ready to make a Mile High offer that his fellow playoff quarterbacks from the ’80s and’ 90s can’t turn down.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars

What? Harbaugh after the failure of Urban Meyer? For one thing, Harbaugh finally worked out Meyer’s previous program in college and should be intrigued to show why he’s superior as a professional coach than his hated former rival. On the other hand, there’s no way I’m going to work with general manager Trent Baalke again. Unless the Jags agree to replace Baalke with whoever Harbaugh says he wants, there’s no chance Shad Khan will even consider going the college route. It’s a shame, because Harbaugh with Trevor Lawrence would be interesting to watch.

4. Miami dolphins

So let’s get this straight: would owner Stephen Ross, a well known and successful Michigan product like Harbaugh, rather have Harbaugh train his shared alma mater so his Wolverine Saturdays can still be enjoyable rather than wanting to earn more on Sundays? of the Dolphins with Harbaugh? And didn’t you have someone at Harbaugh’s level in mind when you fired Brian Flores too soon? Aside from the Michigan connection and the allure of working with Tua Tagovailoa, there is little reason to be a part of this Miami mess.

5. Minnesota Vikings

Will Harbaugh be in the new man for the Minnesota Vikings? No. It won’t look “very good” leaving Ann Arbor for the Twin Cities when he inherits costly former Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins, who won’t be long in the franchise, and a defense that needs a massive overhaul. minus Mike Zimmer. Plus, the Minnesota property was also quick to part ways with Rick Spielman, one of the league’s best general managers, to acquire talent. Harbaugh won’t get the support he needs. He better beat the other Minnesota by way over the Little Brown Jug.

Boat, baby? Though the team already dates back to the ’80s with “The NFL Today” icon Brent Musburger narrating his games in Las Vegas, let’s hope Harbaugh isn’t really “watching live” to take on the Raiders’ job of replacing another. high-profile leader, Jon Gruden. Harbaugh was leaving Michigan … to work with Derek Carr? And keep trying to figure out Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and the Broncos’ new QB franchise for several years? Hell no. Las Vegas isn’t even the best destination in the AFC West for Harbaugh (see Denver above). The only reason to do this is if Harbaugh wants to anticipate retiring to the desert at age 60.