After last year’s song and dance with the NFL, Jim Harbaugh claimed that it was just a “one-time thing.” Now, after Michigan’s 13-1 Big Ten Championship season, the Wolverines’ head coach has been entertaining NFL offers, including a two-hour-long interview with the Denver Broncos on Monday.
Jim Harbaugh interviews with Denver
According the the NFL Network’s report, Jim Harbaugh interviewed with the Denver Broncos for two hours on Monday via Zoom. After last year’s fiassco with the NFL, most thought Harbaugh was in Ann Arbor for good. While that could be the case, it is still infuriating to see Harbaugh entertaining NFL offers, especially as the Wolverines’ program gains momentum heading into the 2023 season.
It feels as if all of this NFL talk is killing Michigan’s momentum heading into next year — both on the field and on the recruiting trail. Yesterday, Michigan’s star running back — Blake Corum — announced that he will be returning for the 2023 season. This fall, the Wolverines will have a shot at a third-straight Big Ten Championship and perhaps a National Championship as well.
Harbaugh entertaining NFL offers after promising otherwise
After the Wolverines’ 12-2, Big Ten Championship campaign in 2021, Jim Harbaugh attempted to leave U-M for the NFL. On National Signing Day — as Harbaugh’s newest classes inked their commitment to him — Michigan’s head coach was in Minnesota interviewing for the Vikings’ head coaching opening. Minnesota went on to turn Harbaugh down; in fact, one Vikings staff member described Harbaugh’s behavior in the interview as “odd.”
After Harbaugh was given a solid “No” from the NFL, he decided to return to Ann Arbor — fans were skeptical, but Harbaugh had a get out of jail free card: a Big Ten Championship. Jim Harbaugh proceeded to promise that he was committed to Michigan and swore that the NFL adventure would be a one-time event.
In December — following Michigan’s 43-22 win over Purdue in the Big Ten Championship game — Jim Harbaugh again promised that he would be back in 2023. “I will enthusiastically be back as the coach of the Wolverines in 2023.” – Jim Harbaugh.
Over the last week or so, Harbaugh has doubled down on these statements multiple times, yet, here we are. Reports continue to come out that Jim Harbaugh will leave Michigan if the NFL offers him a position, Harbaugh is talking with NFL owners, and now, Jim Harbaugh has interviewed with the Denver Broncos.
This is bad for Michigan football
As we saw a year ago, Jim Harbaugh’s obsession with the NFL is killing Michigan’s offseason momentum. Not only did last year’s stunt hurt the Wolverines’ recruiting momentum, but it instilled a distrust in Jim Harbaugh among Michigan fans. If Harbaugh wants to coach at U-M in 2023, he better have a damn good excuse as to why he is flirting with the NFL so much.
If Harbaugh plans on leaving, then he should have never said that he will be back in 2023. Sure, it’s the business, but to convince players, recruits, and fans that he would be back next season and then leave would be a cheap shot at U-M football. If it turns out that all of this is over a contract extension, then I blame Warde Manuel; however, no one is quite sure what to expect right now.
As the NFL season winds down, we expect to have a final answer on Jim Harbaugh’s status in the next few weeks. Right now, Harbaugh is set to return to Ann Arbor in 2023, but we are not so sure that he would like to.
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