The Jim Harbaugh madness is continuing to grow. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport is reporting the University of Michigan is going to offer Jim Harbaugh a 6-year contract worth $48 million. This follows a report by an Arizona reporter with a Michigan connection suggesting something similar.
MIchigan's football season is a wrap, and they have begun the process of looking for a new head coach. Jim Harbaugh is signed through the 2015 season, so I would assume that either Michigan officials are doing this on the quasi-down low, or this is all a way to drive up Harbaugh's value if he is going to become available after this season (hello, David Dunn). Either way, Jim Harbaugh is under contract, so any deal with Michigan would require the 49ers either fire him, or come to terms with him on some kind of buy-out.
$8 million is a sizable chunk of change, but given that he is reportedly making $5 million per year with the 49ers, I have to think he could get at least $8 million if he were to negotiate a contract with a new NFL team (as part of a trade, or after having been fired).
I don't know how this will all play out, but I have discovered that there is a bit of arrogance among Michigan fans. I assume this applies to a lot of big time college programs. Here are a couple tweets I have seen:
@timkawakami Was never offered the job in '11. There are 31 other NFL HC jobs & opportunities open every yr. There is only 1 UM job.— Brian T (@BTrau811) December 16, 2014
Maybe it ends up happening, but I still doubt it. One of my co-workers is a big Michigan fan, and we put together a wager. He says Harbaugh goes to Michigan in 2015, I say he ends up anywhere but Michigan in 2015 (including staying in San Francisco). If he wins, I buy him three lunches, if I win, he buys me one lunch. I had to give him odds, and I was plenty happy to give him those odds. I just don't see Michigan happening in 2015.