As the Los Angeles Chargers initiate the process of identifying potential head-coaching candidates, there appears to be skepticism surrounding the inclusion of Jim Harbaugh in the mix.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, insiders within the NFL community express doubt that the Chargers would grant Harbaugh the desired power and meet his financial expectations to lure him away from his current position at Michigan.
The Chargers find themselves in need of both a head coach and a general manager following the dismissal of Brandon Staley and Tom Telesco on December 15, a decision made in the wake of their 63-21 defeat to the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday Night Football.
Given Harbaugh’s esteemed standing at Michigan, he holds significant leverage and might potentially request full control over the roster-building process.
Harbaugh’s history includes rumors during his final season with the San Francisco 49ers in 2014, suggesting a rift with the franchise due to his aspirations for greater financial compensation and increased authority over the roster. Although Harbaugh denied those rumors, the season’s conclusion marked his departure from the 49ers after an impressive 44-19-1 record over four years.
While Harbaugh has refrained from returning to the NFL since leaving San Francisco, he has engaged in discussions with various teams over the years. Despite stating in January 2022 that he was done seeking NFL opportunities, Harbaugh met with the Denver Broncos owner Greg Penner twice last offseason. Ultimately, the Broncos secured Sean Payton from the New Orleans Saints as their head coach.
Harbaugh’s future beyond 2024 remains uncertain and will likely depend on developments after Michigan’s season concludes. The Wolverines, under Harbaugh’s leadership, boast an impressive record of 84-25 with three consecutive Big Ten titles in nine seasons. As they prepare for a Rose Bowl matchup against Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinal on January 1, the speculation surrounding Harbaugh’s potential return to the NFL adds an intriguing layer to the ongoing coaching search drama.