Jim Harbaugh Contract Extension: Is the Michigan Head Coach Spurning the NFL With $55 Million Contract Extension?

    Michigan is readying a mega contract extension for Jim Harbaugh with rumors circling that the head coach is ready to return to the NFL.

    Jim Harbaugh has again led the Michigan Wolverines to the college football playoff in a turbulent season for the program. The team has overcome adversity and Harbaugh has been central to the rejuvenation of the Ann Arbor side.

    However, reports are circling again about Harbaugh potentially returning to the NFL, and Michigan is seemingly ready to give up an enormous contract to tie their head coach down for future years.

    Jim Harbaugh Contract Rumors

    Hot off another 13-0 season and finishing No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings, Michigan is reportedly ready to offer Harbaugh a hefty new contract.

    Den Wetzel from Yahoo Sports reported that the extension could be worth $11 million per season over five years, amounting to $55 million over the entire contract.

    The mega contract extension would make Harbaugh the second highest-paid head coach in college football, only behind Alabama’s Nick Saban.

    With reports that Harbaugh could once again entertain talks about returning to the NFL, Michigan hopes that a monster pay deal could help seal Harbaugh’s future with the program.

    The contract, however, has not been signed or ratified at this moment, and Harbaugh could be ready to return to the NFL.

    Could Harbaugh Return to the NFL?

    Rumors about Harbaugh returning to the NFL escalated on December 12, when NFL Insider Jordan Schultz reported that the LA Chargers have significant interest in the Michigan head coach.

    The Chargers fired former head coach Brandon Staley on December 15. 2023, and rumors of Harbaugh as a potential replacement soon followed.

    Harbaugh previously coached in the NFL when he was head coach of the San Francisco 49ers between 2011-2014, leading them to Super Bowl XLVII, which they lost to the Baltimore Ravens.

    MORE: Rose Bowl Prediction – Michigan vs. Alabama Odds

    After leaving the Bay Area, Harbaugh returned to his alma mater Michigan, where he has reignited the program with three consecutive Big Ten titles and turned the Wolverines into National Championship contenders.

    However, every season Harbaugh is linked with an NFL position. Harbaugh interviewed for the head coach vacancy with the Minnesota Vikings in 2021, and the Broncos were reportedly interested in 2022, as well as Carolina, where the interest was more compelling.

    NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Harbaugh was actively “listening to NFL teams,” and “Harbaugh also had a brief conversation with the Panthers that didn’t amount to anything.”

    This is alongside reports from Dianna Russini from The Athletic said on The Herd, that both the Panthers and Bears are “monitoring” Harbaugh’s situation going into 2024.

    The thought is that this time, the interest in returning to the NFL could be very real for Harbaugh. With an NCAA investigation still outstanding and punishments for the alleged sign-stealing scandal earlier in the season, could push Harbaugh to call it time, leave the college ranks, and return to the pros.

    For as long as Michigan is successful, rumors will continue, and the link between the NFL and Harbaugh will remain strong. The reported contract extension that Michigan is ready to offer the head coach may tempt him to stay.

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