In 2020, he took a pay cut to remain with the University of Michigan Wolverines.
He couldn’t find any other job because the program seemed to be regressing.
But suddenly, Michigan defeated Ohio State for the first time since 2011.
Jim Harbaugh made $2 million in bonuses this year. It's all going to athletic department employees who had to take paycuts. Pretty remarkable gesture. Harbaugh bet on himself and everyone won.
— Trevor Woods (@WoodsFootball) January 1, 2022
They also won the Big Ten East and dominated Iowa in the Big Ten Championship Game.
Those victories made the Wolverines the second-best team in the nation.
Despite the disappointing loss to Georgia in the Orange Bowl, the prospect of Harbaugh wanting to return to the big leagues should excite a handful of teams.
After all, he already led the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance.
That said, three teams must reach out to Harbaugh once he announces his resignation from Michigan.
3. Las Vegas Raiders
While the Las Vegas Raiders are still fighting for a playoff spot in the AFC, interim head coach Rich Bisaccia hasn’t done much to become a strong candidate for the full-time role.
If they decide to move away from him, Harbaugh is the logical choice because of his ties with the organization.
His coaching career started when he became the team’s quarterbacks coach in 2002.
He then became the head coach of the University of San Diego and Stanford before joining the 49ers.
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) January 6, 2022
He also has a close relationship with team owner Mark Davis.
However, there’s no certainty if the Raiders are looking for a new coach, especially with the team on a three-game winning streak before Week 18.
But if they do, Harbaugh should at least get an interview.
Imagine what he can do with Derek Carr and the Raider offense being a former quarterback himself if he gets hired.
2. Seattle Seahawks
The Pete Carroll era has run its course in Seattle, and it’s time for a change.
That said, why not hire a guy that also had success in both college and the NFL?
Harbaugh can also help rejuvenate the Seahawks offense that looked outdated throughout this season.
His hiring will send a buzz to all the 12th Men, and it could help keep Russell Wilson in Seattle.
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) January 7, 2022
While their longtime quarterback expressed his desire to remain with the team, he might cancel his no-trade clause if he’s going to a better team.
Playing for Harbaugh can make his decision of staying certain.
With the team geared to finish with a losing record for the first time since 2011, hiring Harbaugh can bring them to playoff contention again.
Getting their injured players back will also get them back on the right track.
1. Chicago Bears
Harbaugh started his playing career with the Chicago Bears and spent seven seasons in the Windy City.
Under Hall of Fame head coach Mike Ditka, he led the team to consecutive double-digit winning seasons in 1990 and 1991.
Fast forward to 2022, and the one-time Bear might be the coach that will help revive the franchise’s fortunes for the better.
Reports reveal that Matt Nagy is in his last year as the Bears’ top mentor.
Jim Harbaugh…to the Bears?
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) January 7, 2022
If that’s the case, Harbaugh returning to Chicago is a feel-good story that can yield positive results.
He will develop Justin Fields to become a better quarterback.
However, Harbaugh needs to retool the Bears’ defense because they’re getting older.NEXT: 3 Buccaneers Who Must Step Up With Antonio Brown Gone