Report: Broncos reach out to Jim Harbaugh about head coach job
Corrections & Clarifications: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the division the 49ers and Seahawks plan in. It is the NFC West.
You almost knew something like this was coming, right?
Pro Football Talk and NBC Sports’ Mike Florio reported during Sunday’s ‘Football Night in America’ pregame show that the Denver Broncos have reached out to Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh to express their interest in him for their head coach vacancy in recent days.
Harbaugh, 59, is coming off the best two-year stretch in modern-day Michigan football history. The Wolverines have won the last two Big Ten championship and played in the last two College Football Playoffs. Michigan lost to TCU in the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday, 51-45.
After last season’s 12-2 run, Harbaugh interviewed with the Minnesota Vikings, visiting the team for an in-person interview on national signing day in February. The Vikings decided not to offer the head coaching job, and Harbaugh then professed to commitment to trying to win a national title at his alma mater.
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After the flirtation elsewhere, Harbaugh signed a new contract for the second straight offseason. He’s making about $8.34 million for the next four seasons, and currently has a $3 million buyout if he leaves for the NFL. He made $10 million this season in salary and bonuses.
Last week, the Broncos fired Nathaniel Hackett after just 15 games at the helm. The Broncos lost at Kansas City on Sunday, falling to 4-12 this season.
Denver made perhaps the biggest move of last offseason by acquiring quarterback Russell Wilson via trade. The team, under new ownership, then signed the now-34-year-old quarterback to a five-year, $245 million deal before the season began. But Wilson’s play, which was starting to slip in Seattle, has dropped significantly this season.
Wilson reputation was built with the Seahawks, where he was the QB of a Super Bowl contender as soon as his rookie season. Those early battles in Wilson career came against Harbaugh’s 49ers in the NFC West.
Harbaugh was 44-19-1 in four seasons in San Francisco. In his eight years as Michigan head coach, the former U-M QB is 74-25.