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Initial thoughts about a possible Jim Harbaugh-Raiders marriage

Head coach rumors starting to get to the next level

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San Francisco 49ers v Oakland Raiders
Jim Harbaugh

The idea of the Las Vegas Raiders pursuing Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is nothing new.

There have been rumors about a possible pairing for months and we’ve discussed it already in this community.

However, the subject is now relevant again as The Athletic reported on Tuesday that there is belief in both professional and college circles that Harbaugh might be ready to bounce back to the NFL after having a great season with his alma mater in 2021. Harbaugh led Michigan to the college football playoffs and was named the national coach of the year,

The Athletic mentioned the Raiders and the Chicago Bears, who Harbaugh once quarterbacked, as possible fits should he leave Ann Arbor.

It will be interesting to see how this story develops. Of course, the Raiders — who will make the playoffs with a home win over the Chargers on Sunday — are not necessarily looking for a new coach. Interim head coach Rich Bisaccia could be promoted to the full-time position.

While there will be a time and place for more Harbaugh thoughts, my reaction to Tuesday news is this: It’s totally believable.

Harbaugh has been a head coach at four different programs since 2004. He is famous for getting antsy and looking for the next opportunity. His seven-season stint at Michigan is his longest head-coaching tenure. So the time might be right for him to head back to the NFL, where he had big success as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers spanning 2011-14.

As far as the Raiders potentially being interested, I would think there is no doubt Las Vegas owner Mark Davis would be keen on Harbaugh, who started his coaching career as a Raiders’ assistant coach. There were reports that he’d try to get Harbaugh in previous years. We already know Davis is willing to spend big on a head coach and Harbaugh would be the next great headliner to entertain on the Vegas Strip.

I can totally see this happening and will have more thoughts on it if/when the time is right. But with Harbaugh still in Michigan and the Raiders still in playoff contention, all we can do at the moment is wait-and-see what happens.