Kaplan: ‘There's a shot' Bears land Jim Harbaugh


One of the biggest names on the NFL coaching market could be current Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh.

The Athletic's Bruce Feldman reported that Harbaugh could be tempted to return to the NFL, and specifically singled out the Las Vegas Raiders while noting the Chicago Bears might be another option.

And while that's just some NFL coaching carousel finger, our own David Kaplan thinks it's a real possibility.

"There's a shot. They've taken a run at Jim Harbaugh before. I'm telling you this guy's in play," Kaplan said.

Kaplan also added: "He did all he could do, probably at Michigan, and you go pay him $10 million a year, give him a five year deal and your culture changes, I can tell you that."

On the surface, the Bears and Harbaugh rumors make sense. Harbaugh has deep ties to the Bears organization, much like he does with the Raiders.

Harbaugh played quarterback for the Bears for seven seasons after Chicago drafted him in the first round of the 1987 NFL Draft. Feldman noted that Harbaugh began his coaching career with the Raiders in 2003.

But Las Vegas is a threat to nab Harbaugh.

"The Raiders are going to make a run at him as well if they don't keep their interim coach Rich Bisaccia," Kaplan said.

As Kaplan noted, if the Raiders beat the Chargers on Sunday they'll make the playoffs.

"How do you get rid of the interim guy who brought that fractured locker room together with the idiocy of Jon Gruden hanging over it?" Kaplan said. "And all of a sudden he gets you in the playoffs in a very tough AFC? Yeah, you'd have to probably keep him."

Either way, Kap thinks the Bears' ties trump Harbaugh's Raiders connection.

"But if Jim Harbaugh is available, there's no way he should take the Vegas Raiders job over the team that drafted him in the first round," Kaplan said.

And with just one week to play in the 2021 NFL season, a number of head coaching jobs are expected to open. The Raiders and Jaguars currently employ interim head coaches in Bisaccia and Darrell Bevell, respectively, and they could both be looking for a new permanent hire.

The Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers are other potential Harbaugh suitors if a coaching change is made in 2022.

In seven seasons with the Wolverines, Harbaugh boasts a 61-24 record with just one bowl win in 2015. Prior to that, he had a 44-19-1 record with the 49ers from 2011 to 2014. Harbaugh led the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII, where they lost to his brother John's Baltimore Ravens.

With 14 years of pro experience as a quarterback with the Bears, Colts, Ravens and Chargers, Harbaugh has no shortage of connection to the NFL. We'll have to wait and see if he is tempted enough to leave his alma mater.

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