A football coach’s career is like a game of hot potato. Just like how players quickly pass the potato to avoid getting burned, coaches are constantly on the move, trying to avoid getting “fired” by jumping from team to team. But instead of a potato, they’re passing around their clipboard and play book. And instead of getting burned, they’re getting “scorched” by angry fans and team owners/athletic directors. It’s a game of high stakes and high turnover, where coaches are always looking for the next big “catch” before they get “dropped.”
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Jim Harbaugh’s future as the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines is uncertain. Harbaugh is garnering serious interest from the NFL, all while the team faces an NCAA investigation related to recruiting during Covid. Most notably, however, is the contract discussions (or lack thereof) taking place in Ann Arbor.
Contract Discussions Paused (for now)
According to ESPN’s Pete Thamel, Michigan is unlikely to offer Harbaugh a new contract until there is “clarity in the current NCAA case.” The NCAA is currently investigating the Wolverines football program for alleged violations during the COVID-19 recruiting dead period. If the investigation finds a Level I violation, Harbaugh could face a multiple-game suspension.
Harbaugh’s current contract with Michigan contains relatively inexpensive buyout clauses, making it easy for him to return to the NFL before the deal’s expiration in 2026. The 59-year-old reportedly had a virtual interview with the Denver Broncos on Monday. Thamel noted that Harbaugh has been “engaged with the Broncos, who are underway on a process that should take more than a week to unfold.”
Harbaugh isn’t the only coach playing hot potato. Sean Payton, former New Orleans Saints coach and current Fox Sports NFL analyst, could head to the Los Angeles Rams instead. However, the Broncos still have him at the top of their list of candidates.
Another report suggests that Harbaugh could choose the Indianapolis Colts over the Broncos if they reach out to him. Harbaugh played for the Colts during the 1990s.
When asked about his coaching future last week, Harbaugh said, “no one knows what the future holds.” However, with the Wolverines’ loss to the TCU Horned Frogs in the semifinal round of the College Football Playoff and the uncertainty surrounding the NCAA investigation, it’s possible that the game may have been his last as head coach of the Wolverines.
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