Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports current Michigan HC Jim Harbaugh is expected to have “numerous opportunities” to return to the NFL this offseason, if this ends up being something he’s interested in pursuing.
Harbaugh should be in high demand in the coming months with several teams in position to possibly make a coaching change.
La Canfora points out that Colts and Browns’ ownership previously expressed serious interest in Harbaugh.
In fact, Harbaugh was nearly traded to the Browns and owner Jimmy Haslam was reportedly “enamored” with the prospect of adding him and nearly traded two third-round picks to the 49ers to get him. Beyond that, La Canfora says that the Browns were willing to give him a five-year, $40 million contract to coach the team.
However, Harbaugh ultimately balked at going to Cleveland and believed he would have had a number of opportunities as a free agent.
According to La Canfora, Haslam remains enamored with Harbaugh and it’s possible that the job could be more appealing this time around, given that they could have the No. 1 overall pick and another top 10 pick to work with and take the team’s next quarterback of the future.
Another benefit for the Browns is that they could be the only situations where they could offer full football authority to rework the coaching staff and football operations staff
La Canfora says that the Colts could also have some interest to Harbaugh as well.
There was buzz about Harbaugh returning to the NFL last year, but he ultimately resisted any interest to remain at Michigan, so we’ll have to see if anything has changed this time around.
Harbaugh, 53, signed a seven-year, $35 million contract with Michigan that includes 10 percent increases after the third and fifth year of his contract and a $2 million signing bonus. He also receives incentive bonuses for Big Ten championships, bowl appearances, coaching awards and team academic performance.
During his four years with the 49ers, he led them to a record of 44-19-1 (69.5 percent), which included three playoff appearances and an NFC Championship.
We’ll have more regarding Harbaugh possibly returning to the NFL as the news is available.