Jim Harbaugh to the New York Jets has been floating around the NFL rumorsphere for weeks now. Adam Gase is about as locked in to be fired as any NFL coach has ever been, while Harbaugh’s time at Michigan is growing very stale.
Going all the way back to last December, Jets superfan Mike Greenberg said that the franchise should “beg” Harbaugh to leave his alma mater for the team. Before returning to the college game to take over the Wolverines, Harbaugh was a highly successful NFL coach, leading the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance and three straight NFC Championship Games.
Brian Costello of the New York Post believes it could be realistic. He says that the Jets have sent overtures to Harbaugh before, and this may be the most available that he has ever been. There are plenty of suggestions that having Harbaugh leave for a new job may be best for everyone involved in Ann Arbor.
“Jim Harbaugh has played a role in each of the last three coaching searches conducted by the Jets,” Costello says. “There is reason to believe he will be a prominent name mentioned again this time around.”
— Brian Costello (@BrianCoz) November 18, 2020
Michigan football is just 1-3 on the season, and things are getting worse by the week. After losing to rebuilding rival Michigan State 27-24, UM has been blown out by Indiana (38-21) and Wisconsin (49-11) in its last two games.
The team has considered him for the job for its last three openings, but for one reason or another, it hasn’t come to fruition. This time, Costello says, the timing could be right for all sides:
The Jets have been interested before. The team interviewed Harbaugh in 2009 before hiring Rex Ryan. At the time, Harbaugh had been the coach at Stanford for two years and while impressed, the Jets felt Ryan was the right guy for them.
At the end of the 2014 season, the Jets gauged Harbaugh’s interest as it was clear his run with the 49ers was over, but Harbaugh had decided to go to Michigan and the Jets hired Todd Bowles.
Near the end of the 2018 season, there was a report that the Jets were going to make a run at Harbaugh after firing Bowles. The Jets quickly shot down the report and never chased Harbaugh, instead hiring Adam Gase.
The Jets have flirted with Harbaugh before, but the timing has not been right. The timing feels right this time and it could be a match.
While the college game and NFL are very different, and Harbaugh’s inability to develop a quarterback at his alma mater presents some serious questions after his long career of doing just that, the New York Jets may have the chance to take a guy like Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft. The Jets are currently winless, and in line for the top spot. If Jim Harbaugh has questions about the move, that opportunity may put it over the top.
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