Jim Harbaugh Returning To The NFL Chatter Is, Once Again, Underway

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The annual tradition of rumors swirling about Jim Harbaugh making a return to the NFL is, once again, underway.

For the past several years, there’s been nonstop chatter about the Michigan coach leaving Ann Arbor and returning to the NFL.

It seems like the conversation happens nearly every offseason, and Harbaugh has interviewed for multiple NFL jobs – most notably the Vikings and Broncos – over the past few years, but didn’t land any.

Will Jim Harbaugh return to the NFL? (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Well, there’s a new twist in the saga thanks to alleged NCAA violations. Jim Harbaugh is currently serving a three-game suspension handed down by the program in an attempt to get the NCAA to go away. Dealing with NCAA punishment has been viewed by many (including myself) as the ultimate red line.

Legendary oddsmaker Danny Sheridan reported earlier in the week that his sources indicate Harbaugh will “100%” leave the Wolverines if an NFL team makes him an offer. Harbaugh previously took the 49ers to the Super Bowl, where he lost to his brother and the Ravens.

Will Jim Harbaugh take another shot at the NFL?

If there was ever a time for Jim Harbaugh to take a serious look at leaving Ann Arbor, it’s after this season.

He currently has the best team *on paper* Michigan has ever had with him as the coach. Still need to win games, but just looking at the current Wolverines, it’s by far and away the best squad since he was hired. If he doesn’t win a national title this season, it might just not be meant to be.

Furthermore, the NCAA has become a huge problem for Jim Harbaugh. You know what the NFL doesn’t care about? Allegedly buying food for recruits on trips that might have violated rules. Nothing like that exists in the pros.

Jim Harbaugh is currently serving a three game suspension handed down by Michigan. (Photo by Jaime Crawford/Getty Images)

Why stay at Michigan when the NCAA has made it clear it plans to drop the hammer? Michigan suspending Harbaugh doesn’t mean the NCAA won’t come in over the top and add to his punishment once the year is done.

NCAA vice president of hearing operations Derrick Crawford said earlier in August, “The Michigan infractions case is related to impermissible on and off-campus recruiting during the COVID-19 dead period and impermissible coaching activities – not a cheeseburger. The Committee on Infractions may reject (a ruling, such as the previous four-game suspension) if it determines that the agreement is not in the best interests of the NCAA or the penalties are not reasonable.”

Does that sound like a man who is going to accept a three game suspension and move on? No.

Is Jim Harbaugh’s time at Michigan nearing an end? (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Jim Harbaugh still has nearly the entire season in front of him, but this narrative isn’t going away. You’re going to hear it a lot through the 2023 season, especially if the NCAA continues to cause problems.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

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