Top College Coach Eyeing Giants Job, Says Team’s Super Bowl Champion

Jim Harbaugh eyeing Giants head coach job

Getty University of Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh.

Typically where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And considering the recent chatter out of Ann Arbor, there’s reason to believe that Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh is at least keen on the prospect of entertaining a jump back into the professional ranks.

The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman reported back on January 5 that the 58-year-old Harbaugh could willingly jump ship from Michigan this offseason for another crack at the NFL. Felman’s report was quickly followed up by ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg, who named the Las Vegas Raiders and New York Giants as potential destinations for his services.

Since then, speculation of Harbaugh manning the head gig in East Rutherford has only increased, and former Giants offensive lineman Jumbo Elliott (a Michigan alumn) is here to add a bit more ammunition to the hypothetical move. On January 17, the Super Bowl XXV champion pushed this nugget of information out into the Twittersphere:

Insider Says Harbaugh is Intrigued by Giants Job

On January 15, Pat Leonard of The New York Daily News shared some further details into the legitimacy of Harbaugh’s itch for a potential return to the league:

I was extremely interested to learn from reliable sources that 1) Harbaugh’s NFL interest is genuine and that 2) the Giants’ vacancy intrigues him and he’d pick up the phone if they called. … Sources familiar with his thinking do not believe Harbaugh would try to control the organization he joined. He would simply prioritize and value stability in the owners’ and GM’s suites to let him do his job on the field…

You have to admit: it doesn’t stretch the imagination too far to picture Harbaugh strutting up and down the MetLife Stadium sidelines in his trademark khaki pants.

Harbaugh has not coached in the NFL in nearly a decade after he and the San Francisco 49ers “mutually” agreed to part ways back in 2014. During his four-year run with the Niners, Harbaugh accumulated a terrific 44-19-1 record and even guided the team to a Super Bowl appearance in 2012-13. Since then, he’s gone on to resurrect his alma mater’s football program. Just this past season he helped guide Michigan to a victory over their vaunted rivals Ohio State, as well as led the school to their first Big Ten title in 17 years a College Football Playoff appearance.

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Adam Schefter Talks Harbaugh Situation

Despite all the rumblings, it still feels as if Harbaugh will stay put at Michigan. According to The Athletic’s Nick Baumgardner, the two parties have “had productive talks on a new deal/competitive offer-package has been made.” Having said that, Baumgardner also notes that some within the program “wonder if he’s torn about the NFL.”

On January 12, ESPN’s Adam Schefter joined Adam Schein on Mad Dog Sports Radio to add his two cents on the Harbaugh situation and the coach’s looming decision of whether or not to jump ship to the NFL or stay put in Ann Arbor, per 247Sports:

Look, Jim Harbaugh is a tough guy to predict. And I don’t like absolutes at this time of the year because things change on a moment’s notice. But if you’re asking my opinion today … I would say he’s more likely than not to stay. Unless he gets an offer from an NFL team he can’t refuse.

Now, is there going to be an NFL team out there that comes at him so hard with so much money with such a good situation? That they’re going to make it such that he can say no, and that could happen? It could, but I will say this to you, Adam. I was saying about a month ago, there was all sorts of scuttlebutt, and then I think it came out last week, some of the things I heard, and … I think he’s further down the line towards staying than he is leaving. But I also know that it could change like that. … (I think Harbaugh is) more inclined to stay at Michigan. Now again, that could change. But that’s why I say initially my impression is more likely than not to stay, though you never can rule out an NFL team giving him an offer that he can’t refuse and if that happens, anything’s possible.

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