With an opening in Green Bay, would Jim Harbaugh really consider leaving Michigan to return to the NFL and coach Aaron Rodgers and the Packers?
Cris Carter has lost his mind if he thinks Jim Harbaugh is going to leave Michigan now that Urban Meyer has retired from Ohio State.
Carter said on Wednesday’s episode of First Things First on FSI that he’s heard from sources who think Harbaugh is trying to get out of Michigan and return to the NFL and he’s got his eyes on the openings in Green Bay and Cleveland.
“Watch out for Jim Harbaugh. Because Jim Harbaugh potentially is trying to get his way out of Michigan. Alright, I’ve got good sources that are telling me not only Green Bay, but also watch out for the Cleveland Browns. He likes the quarterback situations there, and I believe that there is front office people in Green Bay who are enamored with Jim Harbaugh and potentially trying to get him to come to Green Bay.”
Sure, coaching Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay would be a nice situation and the Browns have a young quarterback in Baker Mayfield and a lot of cap space to spend on talented free agents. In 2014, the Browns tried to trade for Harbaugh so the interest may be real, but that job pales in comparison to the Packers, and both pale in comparison to the job Harbaugh currently enjoys.
Harbaugh is coaching at his alma mater where he is neighbors with his parents who get to be close and spend time with their grandkids. It appears to be the perfect job and he’s making $7.5 million per year, which only trails Nick Saban among college coaches.
Plus, with Urban Meyer retiring from Ohio State, the path to a Big Ten championship just had a big roadblock removed. It’s just the perfect scenario for Harbaugh and he’s not going to destroy that to chase a Super Bowl.
Carter, a former Ohio State wide receiver, could be doing some fantastic negative recruiting the day after Meyer retired. This could be wishful thinking on his part because with Meyer no longer in Columbus, there will be no greater chance for Harbaugh to finally bring Michigan to the top of the Big Ten with him gone.
This has become an annual tradition when jobs open or are projected to be open and speculating about whether this is the job that lures Harbaugh out of Ann Arbor.
Harbaugh and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross have been linked before he left the San Francisco 49ers for Michigan, so perhaps, in the future, Harbaugh could be entertained by a lucrative offer that gives him control of personnel and ups his annual salary from what he’s making at Michigan.
He has never stayed longer than four years at any of his previous jobs (San Diego, Stanford, San Francisco, Michigan) and next year represents his fifth year at Michigan, the longest stop of his career.
While Harbaugh’s track record preceded him, and he’s a volatile enough personality to do what he wants to do when he wants to do it, I don’t think he’ll be leaving Michigan any time soon.