The college football silly season is upon us as the head coach merry-go-round is in full swing. The big news today is that University of Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian is taking over at USC (h/t Tim Kawakami). He interviewed for the job over the weekend and has apparently decided it's time for a move. He was an assistant at USC under Pete Carroll, and was reportedly Al Davis' first choice for the Raiders job, ahead of Lane Kiffin.
I bring this up on a 49ers blog because head coach Jim Harbaugh has "officially" been dragged into the rumor mill. CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman reported over the weekend that one rumor had USC considering a run at Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, while one source said Jim was more likely to be the target of USC or Texas. Feldman indicated the source said it might happen "if they threw $10 mil a year at him."
It was simply reported as a rumor, but you know we'll hear this kind of thing pop up as long as Jim Harbaugh is having success at the NFL level. Harbaugh is in a pretty ideal situation with the 49ers thanks to a strong and stable front office that has helped set him up for long-term success. That being said, Texas is a school that might be in a position to offer some seriously crazy money. They have their Longhorn Network deal with ESPN, which could provide them with the kind of money needed to make a big time offer.
When the 49ers signed Coach Harbaugh, the reports were that it was a five-year deal worth $25 million. Coaching contract info usually only comes out through leaks, so we'll stick with "reported" at this point. Whatever the case, Harbaugh has two years left on his deal.
Back in August, Tim Kawakami put together a solid rundown of Harbaugh's contract situation. He signed for two more seasons after this one, and according to Kawakami is the No. 3 salaried coach in the NFC West. His reported $5 million would put him behind Jeff Fisher's $7 million and Pete Carroll's $6 million.
Barring something wildly unforeseen, I fully expect the 49ers to figure out a contract extension before Coach Harbaugh's current five year deal wraps up. I'd hope it gets done before he even begins year five of the deal. We'll wait and see, but in the meantime, don't be surprised when little rumors like this Texas/USC stuff pop up. It goes with the territory of a successful coach. USC is off the table, but much like we'll see with 49ers assistants getting connected to various positions, Harbaugh's name will likely remain connected to bigger brand name openings.
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