As recently as Dec. 9, Jim Harbaugh did not express any interest in leaving his position as the head coach of Michigan Wolverines football team in order to take over a NFL vacancy.
However, that reportedly won’t stop one NFL team from trying to change Harbaugh’s mind. The New York Jets plan to make the Michigan coach “a financial offer he can’t refuse,” according to a report from PFT.
The Jets will presumably present an offer to Harbaugh that exceeds his current salary with the Wolverines. Harbaugh was scheduled to make $7,504,000 in base salary during 2018, an amount that trailed only Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer and Alabama head coach Nick Saban.
“This is a choreographed message that comes up at this time every year before signing day,” Harbaugh told ESPN on Dec. 9. “It’s people spreading messages to further their own personal agenda. I’m on record right here, right now: I’m not going anywhere. I’m staying at Michigan. We have big plans here, and there’s a lot we want to accomplish.”
Speaking later in the day with reporters following the seventh-ranked Wolverines’ annual awards ceremony, Harbaugh said that he hoped that message was loud, clear and self-explanatory.
“To make a statement of it,” Harbaugh said when asked why he spoke with ESPN. “To go on record and not be asked anymore after that. By people who like to yap and ask questions.”
New York could fire head coach Todd Bowles at the end of the season. The Jets are 4-11 heading into the final week of the NFL regular season. Bowles has failed to qualify for the playoffs in each of his four seasons at the helm of the Jets. The team went 10-6 in the coach’s first season, although the Jets still missed out on a playoff spot due to a tiebreaker with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since, New York has gone 5-11 in back-to-back seasons, and the team’s record will be at least that bad again this year.
Bowles was upset with the officiating on Sunday after the Jets lost 44-38 to the Green Bay Packers in overtime.
“I thought we were playing two teams,” Bowles said. “I thought we were playing the Packers and the stripes.”
Overall, there were a total of 26 accepted penalties by both teams. The Jets were penalized 16 times and three of those penalties came on the Green Bay’s final drive in overtime. And it proved to be the difference in the game as the Jets were called for pass interference twice on the final series.
“I thought it was a bad call as I did quite a few other calls,” Bowles said when talking about a pass interference penalty on Trumaine Johnson in overtime. “I haven’t seen a game like that in my 18, 19 years in the league.”
Unfortunately for Bowles, he may not be watching many more games from the Jets sidelines. And while the chances appear to be slim to none, the Jets apparently haven’t given up hope that Harbaugh will be the one to replace him.