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New York Jets reportedly eyeing Jim Harbaugh, could offer Michigan coach $7 million per year

The Jets are likely to have a coaching vacancy this offseason, with Todd Bowles expected to be fired when the 2018 season wraps up. There’s a clear-cut emphasis on building around Sam Darnold, and a defensive-minded coach with a below .500 record just isn’t going to survive a four- or five-win season. 

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the Jets are contemplating making a monster splash, or at least trying to anyway. New York, Florio reports, “is planning to make a run at Harbaugh after the season ends.” 

And in doing so, the Jets want to try and make him an offer he “can’t refuse,” throwing something in the range of $7 million a year to lure him away from Michigan.

Harbaugh’s name always comes up in coaching rumors because of the success he had with the 49ers before leaving to coach his alma mater. Harbaugh joined San Francisco after building up the Stanford program and took the Niners to the NFC Championship Game in his first season. He came within a single play of beating his brother, John Harbaugh, and the Ravens in the Super Bowl

It’s been a while, though: Harbaugh’s quarterback in that game was Colin Kaepernick, who isn’t even on an NFL team anymore as he continues to battle the league in a collusion case. 

Things fell apart in the end for Harbaugh in San Francisco, as the fiery coach battled with then-GM Trent Baalke. It got ugly and Harbaugh bounced, getting a massive contract from the Wolverines to come and coach in the place where he played college football. He’s had a lot of success there, but has not yet beaten Ohio State and this year got throttled by Urban Meyer en route to losing in the last week of the season. 

A Harbaugh departure from Michigan would be a shock. Tweet about Harbaugh leaving and Michigan fans will call you a fraud, saying their coach is staying in Ann Arbor for life. 

That’s all well and good, but here’s a little dose of reality: Harbaugh has never coached anywhere for more than five years. He was at Stanford for four years, he was with the 49ers for four years and he’s now been at Michigan for four years. He shouldn’t have any reason to be unhappy in Ann Arbor, but there was buzz about his situation coming into the season because he hadn’t beaten his biggest rivals on a regular basis. Meyer is gone at Ohio State, but Harbaugh missed a pretty good shot at the playoffs. 

He could absolutely look at the Jets job, with Darnold under center and a Jon Gruden-like deal that will pay him $7 million annually, and decide it’s time to try and make another run at winning a Super Bowl. 

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