According to a report from NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh and the Los Angeles Chargers are in “striking distance” of coming together on an agreement for Harbaugh to become the Chargers’ next head coach.
Harbaugh wrapped up a second interview with the Chargers on Monday, with Monday’s conversations reportedly involving staffing and other “principle factors.”
Garafolo said the deal could be done in the near future, which is an interesting juxtaposition for Harbaugh, who had a contract extension from Michigan presented to him in the very recent past. That contract has remained unsigned as Harbaugh has explored NFL possibilities. He has also interviewed with the Atlanta Falcons.
This is the third year in a row that Jim Harbaugh has explored an NFL job after Michigan’s football season, despite promising to not do it again less than a year ago.
Having partly led his team to a College Football Playoff national championship this past season, however, his eyes once again turned to the NFL where the Super Bowl title still eludes him.
There is also the not-so-small matter of a pair of NCAA investigations back at Michigan, both of which have seen him serve separate three-game suspensions from two different entities. Michigan self-imposed the first suspension based on NCAA violations related to impermissible on and off-campus recruiting during the COVID-19 dead period and impermissible coaching activities. That investigation is still ongoing.
The Big Ten imposed Harbaugh’s second suspension at the end of the regular season for compromising the integrity of the game through a years-long improper scouting process by a member of his football staff. Harbaugh was not directly tied to the scheme, and it does not appear as though he’s going to stick around long enough to wait for the NCAA’s findings. Michigan did, however, agree with that suspension as well.
Additional reports state that Harbaugh could be bringing Michigan defensive coordinator Jesse Minter with him, as well as Harbaugh’s son Jay, who is the Wolverines’ tight end coach.
The NCAA had already put the latest investigation on an accelerated timeline, but it might not be fast enough for Harbaugh, who was always tough to take down in his playing days as well.