Broncos held secret interview with Jim Harbaugh: Door not closed on coaching return

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Wolverines. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Wolverines. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Despite publicly proclaiming he would return to Michigan football, Jim Harbaugh has continued to entertain the Denver Broncos interest.

Not much made sense about the sudden lack of interest in Sean Payton on the Denver Broncos end. Then, a cryptic implication from a New Orleans reporter about there being more than meets the eye with the Broncos interview process suggested something was amiss, but what that something was remained unclear.

Until now, it seems. Apparently, the Denver Broncos (specifically: Broncos owner and CEO Gren Penner) have continued to pursue Michigan football head coach Jim Harbaugh in relative secrecy, flying out to Ann Arbor to court the head coach and keep the door open on a return to the NFL. This was reported by Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero early Sunday morning.

This comes after Harbaugh told Michigan president Santa Ono he planned to return to coach the Wolverines just about two weeks ago.

Here’s what the report from the pair of journalists stated:

"“A source close to Penner said no offer was made during this week’s visit and that he wanted to visit Harbaugh in part because it was the only candidate he hadn’t interviewed in person. But Harbaugh has remained willing to listen and has told people if he were to return to the NFL, the Broncos’ job is one he’d want. Though Harbaugh has not yet gone back on his stated plans to stay at his alma mater, the door remains open.”"

Apparently, Harbaugh hasn’t worn out everyone in the NFL just yet.

Broncos head coaching search appears to be far from over

The report from Rapoport and Pelissero indicates that the recent happenings with Harbaugh indicate a more expansive, wide search rather than the Broncos closing in on hiring the former NFL coach and now sought-after college leader.

The Broncos still have interest in Demeco Ryans, though the Texans look more likely, and could reopen things with Sean Payton or even coaches who were interested in the head coaching role two years ago.

This is the first time Penner has been involved in a head coaching search since becoming an official owner of the team, and he appears determined to get it right.

Next. 3 teams that miss out if Harbaugh stays with UM. dark