Those hoping that Jim Harbaugh will leave Michigan after just two years at his alma mater to coach the Indianapolis Colts will be disappointed with a recent report from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport: Harbaugh isn’t leaving this year.
According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, Rapoport said on Saturday that Harbaugh isn’t leaving Michigan this year but that he could eventually be back in the NFL at some point. Rapoport mentioned the Bears job as the one to watch for Harbaugh, but Florio offered another job that could lure Harbaugh away at some point: the Colts.
Some league insiders have speculated to PFT that Harbaugh could eventually coach the Colts, which would put him back in the organization he nearly took to the Super Bowl in 1995 — and reunite him with former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.
Wherever he goes, it’s safe to assume Harbaugh will make huge money when he returns to the NFL.
Harbaugh is the dream hire for most Colts fans it seems, as his success in college and in the pros, plus the fact that he played in Indianapolis, plus the fact that he absolutely loves Andrew Luck, makes it a perfect fit for both sides. But that’s what fans of every team thinks too, and it seems highly unlikely that he’d leave Michigan after just two years.
He’s had tremendous success at Michigan, leading them to a 20-5 record in two seasons, and he previously had a ton of success at Stanford too, going 29-21 in four seasons there as he rebuilt the program. In the NFL, Harbaugh went 44-19-1 with the San Francisco 49ers in his four seasons there and made three NFC Championship game appearances and one Super Bowl appearance before the 49ers parted ways with him because they couldn’t get along with him. He’s had success everywhere he’s gone, but it’s worth noting that he’s never stayed in the same place as a head coach longer than four years. So it’s possible he’ll head back to the NFL at some point, and it sounds like people expect him to - just not this year.
Meanwhile, the Colts might not even fire Chuck Pagano this year despite likely missing the playoffs for the second straight season, but it might make it a bit more manageable for Colts fans if they think that there’s actually a possibility of replacing Pagano with Harbaugh after the 2017 season. At this point it’s all simply speculation, and it’s impossible to predict what will happen in the next few years, but it sounds like Harbaugh isn’t heading to the NFL this year but might at some point, and if he does some around the league think the Colts could be the landing spot. Maybe it will happen or maybe it won’t, but at least this gives a slight sliver of hope to Colts fans in a season that hasn’t had too much of it.