NFL Rumors: 3 teams that will hate themselves for not hiring Jim Harbaugh

Jim Harbaugh is now the face of the Los Angeles Chargers, but other teams could have had him.

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Wolverines
Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Wolverines / Stacy Revere/GettyImages
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With the way things broke down during his contract negotiations with the University of Michigan, it was abundantly clear that Jim Harbaugh just wanted to go back to the NFL. Oh, he accomplished the job, as Michigan won its first undisputed national championship since the 1940s only a few weeks ago. The third time was the charm for him when it came to winning the College Football Playoff.

And third time was the charm for him when it came to playing flirt with an NFL franchise. After interviewing with most notably the Minnesota Vikings two offseasons ago and the Denver Broncos just last year, Harbaugh is in fact leaving for the league this time. He will lead one of the many teams he played for in his up-and-down playing career. Harbaugh is the face of the Los Angeles Chargers.

He will be joining a division featuring two Super Bowl-winning head coaches in Andy Reid and Sean Payton, as well as a guy who is clearly a man of the people in Antonio Pierce. While Pierce's coaching career is just now beginning, the other two are destined for Canton enshrinement. Maybe if Harbaugh gives the Bolts seven great years he could have a bronze bust next to his brother, John Harbaugh's?

All the while, four teams still need to hire a head coach. Here are three who will regret passing on him.

Jim Harbaugh to Chargers: 3 teams who should have hired him instead

Despite undergoing the most thorough head-coaching search of all time, the Atlanta Falcons came up short on their quest to land Harbaugh. They were the only other franchise to seriously consider prying him away from Michigan this offseason. He was slated to have his second interview with Arthur Blank and company on Thursday, but obviously, that never manifested. Onto the next one...

Including Harbaugh and new Tennessee Titans head coach Brian Callahan, the Falcons' brass have interviewed 14 different candidates to be their head coach, many of whom have gotten second interviews. Those who have received second interviews include former New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris. This is going well.

Atlanta just spoke with former Titans head coach Mike Vrabel on Thursday, and has second interviews lined up with the likes of Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald and Houston Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik. They are taking their time, but it cost them Harbaugh.

Arthur Smith's successor will be judged not only Falcons' successes, but on Harbaugh's as well.