Jim Harbaugh has spent the last nine years on the Michigan football sideline.
However, before he returned to Ann Arbor to coach his alma mater, Harbaugh had considerable success coaching in the NFL.
He led the 49ers to a Super Bowl during his four-year run in San Francisco. Earlier this month, Harbaugh led the Wolverines to the College Football Playoff national title.
The 60-year-old coach is reportedly weighing a 10-year, $125 million contract extension. The offer is believed to include a clause that would prevent Harbaugh from taking a job at the NFL level for the 2024 season.
Harbaugh may be seeking to add a clause of his own. According to Yahoo Sports, Harbaugh asked for contractual protection from potential NCAA punishment. Harbaugh served two separate three-game suspensions during the regular season.
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In December, the NCAA issued a formal notice to Michigan, which detailed a Level I allegation against Harabugh. The probe remains ongoing.
Harbaugh and his representatives likely want to see wording added that would prevent the coach from being fired as a result of the investigation.
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The rather unusual termination clause request for Harbaugh’s potential contract comes amid the coach’s ongoing flirtation with the NFL. The Los Angeles Chargers recently announced that they conducted an interview with Harbaugh as the franchise continues the process of filling its head coaching vacancy.
Harbaugh also considered jumping back into the professional football ranks during the 2022 offseason.
Shortly after going through the interview process with the Minnesota Vikings, Harbaugh claimed that his NFL pursuit had officially come to an end.
“There was a pull to the NFL because I got that close to the Super Bowl, but this was the time (to try and return.) And this is the last time,” Harbaugh told the Detroit Free Press in Feb. 2022. “Now let’s go chase college football’s greatest prize.”
Michigan could also face sanctions due to the sign-stealing scandal that came to light during the second half of the regular season.
The Big Ten Conference handed down a three-game suspension for Harabugh, causing his to miss the final three contests of the season. Harbaugh returned to the sidelines for the conference championship game and the College Football Playoff.
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Harbaugh could ultimately decide to return to Michigan, but if he does coach the Wolverines in 2024, he will look to replace multiple key players, including quarterback J.J. McCarthy and running back Blake Corum.
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