At this point, it seems abundantly clear that Jim Harbaugh doesn't want to leave the Michigan Wolverines unless it's on top. Amidst some recent controversy and even suspensions, Harbaugh has coached the Wolverines into this year's College Football Playoff and will undoubtedly be the subject of NFL coaching rumors as that rumor mill begins to swirl. Remember last year, the Denver Broncos were in hot pursuit of Harbaugh and the hiring committee even sent a contingent to Ann Arbor to meet with Harbaugh in person.
Ultimately, as things played out, Harbaugh clearly wasn't ready to leave Michigan and the Denver Broncos ended up trading for and hiring longtime NFL head coach Sean Payton, who had just taken a year off after coaching the Saints for 15 seasons. As of this exact moment in time, the decision to hire Payton looks like a really good one by the Walton-Penner Ownership Group, and Payton has obviously made his mark in Denver quickly. His team is in the playoff race in December after one of the worst seasons in franchise history in 2022.
Harbaugh returned to Michigan as many assumed he eventually would, and the Broncos got their guy. But with Michigan's season once again coming to a close, it seems like Harbaugh's future is up for debate. There's a legitimate chance the Wolverines could win it all this year. If they do, it sort of feels like Harbaugh would be much more willing to go back to the NFL. He's got a great gig at Michigan and it will probably be his for as long as he wants it, but the NCAA coming down on Harbaugh this year has undoubtedly complicated matters a little bit.
And the NFL still wants him badly.
I don't know if Harbaugh is going to be able to get offers similar to what he could have presumably gotten from the Denver Broncos last offseason (essentially a "name your price" situation), but there will be suitors if he opens himself up to the discussions. And from the sounds of things, Harbaugh could have an interest in the AFC West, after all.
According to ESPN's Mike Greenberg, Harbaugh seems to think that Justin Herbert is the best young QB in the NFL right now.
Jim Harbaugh would, frankly, be a godsend for the Los Angeles Chargers, a team that is desperately in need of a coach of his caliber. The Chargers have once again underachieved in 2023, a tale as old as time. It's been a bad season for Los Angeles, but this is a stubborn team with ownership that seems unwilling to make substantial investments as needed.
Of course, I say that, yet Justin Herbert has a contract north of $260 million. So perhaps the Chargers will be willing to spend for the "right" people. And Harbaugh would certainly seem to fit that bill.
To get his coaching combined with Herbert's talent would undoubtedly have Chargers fans giddy, and it would send a shiver down the spine of the rest of the AFC West. Harbaugh might be slightly overrated to some, but he's a great coach who knows how to build a program at the professional and collegiate levels.
Chargers fans better be rooting for Michigan to win it all this season.