The Michigan Wolverines AD discusses contract negotiations and reports of Jim Harbaugh’s NFL comeback.
There’s not much time for the Michigan Wolverines to enjoy their national championship because there are growing rumors that Jim Harbaugh will rejoin the NFL. Although there is increasing speculation that the esteemed college football coach will depart from the program, Michigan has some encouraging news regarding its future.
The Wolverines could lose more coaches this offseason than just Jim Harbaugh. Although he is being pursued by NFL teams for head coaching positions, Michigan’s best coordinator and backup plan in case Harbaugh steps down may also end up in the league.
Harbaugh’s retention will not come cheap. The highest-paid college football coaches, after Mike Norvell of the Florida State Seminoles and Kalen DeBoer of the Alabama Crimson Tide signed new contracts, all earn more than $10 million annually. NFL teams are willing to pay over $15 million for Harbaugh, who was already at that level prior to winning a national championship, so the Wolverines’ athletic department will need to brace for a bidding war.
Thankfully, the Wolverines can compete with NFL teams for Harbaugh because they have the financial support of boosters. The coach of Michigan, though, has acknowledged that he needs to win the Super Bowl in order to fulfill unfinished business at the next level. Now that Harbaugh and the Los Angeles Chargers are about to meet, the Wolverines are speaking out about their predicament.
The head coach’s future and ongoing contract negotiations were discussed by Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel, who was present at the championship parade on Saturday.
There are several possible paths that the Wolverines could take. To keep Harbaugh in Ann Arbor for many years to come, one option is to sign him to a 10-year contract extension with an AAV comparable to what other NFL teams will offer. An alternative would be a brief extension that would keep him as head coach of the Wolverines through 2024, with an NFL return scheduled for 2025.
In the event that Harbaugh departs during the offseason, he will probably attempt to bring defensive coordinator and offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore with him to the NFL. In that case, Michigan’s best bet would be to offer the head-coaching position to either Moore or Minter. If not, the Wolverines will be taking on a reduced pool of coaching prospects after this winter’s selection process.