NFL Rumors: Jim Harbaugh's NFL move won't come without hurdles

Despite having obvious NFL interest, Jim Harbaugh leaving Michigan will not be without red tape.
Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Wolverines
Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Wolverines / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

For the third offseason in a row, Jim Harbaugh will interview for a head-coaching position with an NFL team. He was a finalist for the Minnesota Vikings gig that went to Kevin O'Connell two years ago. Harbaugh also interviewed for the Denver Broncos job that ended up going to Sean Payton just last offseason. Two teams have interest in Harbaugh this time around. So third time's a charm, am I right?

Well, maybe not so fast, my friend... Although Harbaugh is reportedly interviewing next week with the Los Angeles Chargers, he also is rumored to be in contention for the Las Vegas Raiders vacancy. The former is a team he once played for, and the Bolts have Justin Herbert at quarterback. While Harbaugh first got into coaching with the Raiders, they just might go with the interim, Antonio Pierce.

Even more complicated, besides the fact Raiders star edge rusher Maxx Crosby may ask for a trade out of town if Pierce is not promoted from within, Michigan will try to pony up some cash to try and keep Harbaugh. This would be in line with what Florida State did with Mike Norvell and Texas did with Steve Sarkisian, among others. Of course, there are also looming NCAA sanctions possibly coming.

So no matter how you look at it, an NFL team hiring Harbaugh is not as seamless as we all expected.

NFL rumors: Jim Harbaugh to the NFL is not as smooth of a transition

The other big thing to get our heads around is that the NFL does not appear to be a safe haven for Harbaugh should he and the Michigan program be penalized for the roles in the alleged sign-stealing scandal. There could be another suspension for Harbaugh coming if he were to leave the Big Ten for the AFC West, or any other NFL division for that matter. Of course, he is going to command top-dollar.

At minimum, Harbaugh should command more than the $10 million Norvell is getting annually from Florida State. Not to say that Norvell isn't worth that amount of coin, but Harbaugh is the better coach right now, coming off three straight College Football Playoff appearances and Michigan's most recent national championship since splitting one with Nebraska back in 1997. Yes, he is so worth it.

Overall, I just think there is a really good chance that Harbaugh is retained by Michigan. It is not that he doesn't covet another NFL opportunity, but how sure are we that a poor owner like Mark Davis or a cheap owner like Dean Spanos are going to want to pay Harbaugh eight figures annually with the chance that he might have to be suspended for a few games in his first season back in the league?

Harbaugh wins everywhere, but winning in the AFC West is hard because of the Kansas City Chiefs.

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