NFL Rumors: Jim Harbaugh Chargers salary revealed, and it’s more absurd than you think

The Los Angeles Chargers are paying Jim Harbaugh how much money?

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh looks on during the national championship celebration at Crisler
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh looks on during the national championship celebration at Crisler / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
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The Los Angeles Chargers did everything in their power to ensure Jim Harbaugh would be their next head coach after firing Brandon Staley this season, including emptying their wallet. 

Details surrounding Harbaugh’s contract to leave the University of Michigan and return to the NFL to save quarterback Justin Herbert and the Chargers from what became a sinking ship in Los Angeles during Staley’s three-year tenure as head coach, and the salary is more absurd than you could ever imagine.

NFL Rumors: Jim Harbaugh salary revealed with Chargers

According to Mike Florio of NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk, Harbaugh’s deal with the Chargers has him slated to earn an average annual salary of $16 million. Previous reports highlighted that the contract spans five years, meaning that Harbaugh is looking at an $80 million valuation (if the pact is fully guaranteed).

Based on this season’s list of highest-paid coaches, Harbaugh’s $16 million yearly salary would rank third in the NFL, behind former New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Sean Payton of the Denver Broncos.

However, Belichick and Payton are Super Bowl-winning head coaches with Hall of Fame résumés. Is Harbaugh worth being paid that type of money? Or, are the Chargers wishcasting his future success with the team by paying him a hefty salary now?

Harbaugh is fresh off the heels of guiding Michigan to their first undisputed National Championship title since 1948 and has enjoyed success in the NFL during his limited time as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers from 2011-15.

During that time, Harbaugh and the 49ers had a 44-19-1 record, earning 2011 AP Coach of the Year honors. He led the 49ers to two divisional titles and a trip to Super Bowl XLVII, where he faced his brother John and the Baltimore Ravens. 

It may seem like a lot of money on the surface for a head coach who isn’t as decorated as some of the other high-paid coaches. But, if his previous stints in the NFL and with Michigan are any indication, the Chargers are making a worthwhile investment.

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