Report: Harbaugh might leave Michigan for Raiders


One of the biggest questions Bears fans have tried to answer this offseason is, what is Jim Harbaugh thinking? Does he really want to go back to the NFL? Or is he leaning towards staying at Michigan to lead the Wolverines? On Thursday, a new report from Bruce Feldman said people at Michigan believe Harbaugh might make a return to the NFL for the right team, and that right team might be the Las Vegas Raiders.

According to Feldman’s sources, a pay raise at Michigan might not be enough to keep him in Ann Arbor. But the report acknowledges, no one at the university really knows what Harbaugh is thinking.

“They also know that Harbaugh can be hard to read,” Feldman said. “Their hunches could be wrong — but they also know he’s never coached anywhere longer than four years prior to his seven years and running in Ann Arbor. They’ve each believed that he, at some point, would want to coach in the NFL again.”

The Raiders might be the team for him, because it’s where Harbaugh got his first coaching opportunity, on Bill Callahan’s staff as quarterbacks coach, in 2002. According to Feldman, Harbaugh also has personal ties to Las Vegas, as it’s where he met his wife.

According to Hub Arkush, one source told him the Bears did have a “brief phone conversation” with Harbaugh this offseason.

“I’m not going to say it's between Jim and somebody in the organization, which I think may have just been trying to say, ‘Hi,’ may have been trying to read the tea leaves without asking the questions,” Arkush said on NBC Sports Chicago’s “The Rush.” “I don't know. I can't confirm that for certain, but it's a pretty good source. I think that there was a phone call and I think where that phone call ended is Jim's got decisions to make and again, he just hasn't made them.”

But now it appears that phone call may have been brief because Harbaugh is holding out for the Raiders job, or nothing.

There have been indications that Harbaugh would remain in the college game too. He recently hired Notre Dame defensive line coach Mike Elston to join his Wolverines staff. He’s also been spotted out on the recruiting trail as recently as Monday. The thinking is, Harbaugh wouldn’t ask a coach to uproot his family and his life, or visit with incoming NCAA athletes, if Harbaugh was seriously considering a move to the NFL.

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