Jim Harbaugh is rumored to be done with the San Francisco 49ers, and the split is reportedly going to happen very quickly.
Reports have indicated that Harbaugh is likely heading over to the University of Michigan for next year, and sources close to the 49ers say that the team is all too eager to let him go. Fox Sports insider Jay Glazer reported that the 49ers are expected to cut ties with Harbaugh within 24 to 48 hours of the regular season ending.
The New York Daily News reported that Michigan offered Jim Harbaugh a 6-year, $48 million deal to return to his alma mater. Though sources this weekend indicated that Harbaugh and Michigan reached a verbal agreement, others close to the 49ers coach said he has not yet made a decision.
Michigan is looking for a turnaround, after coach Brady Hoke led the program to a 5-7 record last year. Jim Harbaugh has been known for his fast starts, taking what had been a 6-10 team in 2010 and leading them to a 13-3 record his first season. Harbaugh took the 49ers to the NFC title game the first three years, including a trip to the Super Bowl.
Harbaugh also coached Stanford University from 2007 to 2011, winning the Orange Bowl in 2011 and recruiting Andrew Luck to the program.
Harbaugh’s quick exit in San Francisco could have something to do with the team’s unraveling at the season’s end. After losing to the one-win Oakland Raiders last week, the 49ers blew a 21-point lead in Saturday’s game against the San Diego Chargers and lost in overtime, assuring that they are not able to finish above.500 for the first time under Harbaugh.
Harbaugh was at a loss for words after the game.
“Right now there’s not much to say,” Harbaugh said. “That’s a tough one.”
Michigan is not the only team in the Jim Harbaugh rumor mill. He has also been connected to the Chicago Bears, New York Jets and Oakland Raiders, two teams likely to have coaching vacancies next year. But an NFL move would require that the 49ers fire Harbaugh, who still has one year left on his contract with the team.