3 complete outside hires Patriots should consider to replace Bill Belichick

The Patriot Way has become as antiquated as a flip phone or gosh, even an old rotary phone...

Bill Belichick, New England Patriots
Bill Belichick, New England Patriots / Kathryn Riley/GettyImages
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2. Jim Harbaugh has won everywhere he has been in his coaching career

Given that he has strong ties to two NFL organizations that have head-coaching vacancies in the Carolina Panthers and the Las Vegas Raiders, as well as two more that could become available in the Chicago Bears and the Los Angeles Chargers, why would Jim Harbaugh leave his alma mater for the New England Patriots? Well, because it is the next great challenge for him, as he has won everywhere.

Harbaugh turns 60-years-old right before Christmas. He may be getting up there, but he is youthful in spirit, which is a stark contrast to the increasingly aging Bill Belichick. Given that Harbaugh has no New England ties from either his illustrious playing or coaching career, this may not be the weirdest partnership of all time. Then again, nobody powers through the awkwardness quite like Harbaugh...

To me, I don't see any career optics downside in Harbaugh leaving Michigan for New England. If he wins big there, he will be seen as a coaching legend, both college and pro. Should he bomb, well, nobody wins in New England anymore. However, I think he could find a better re-entry point, and a more forgiving one, than in New England. Truthfully, Harbaugh may be exactly what they're looking for.

If there is a dark horse contender to pry Harbaugh away from Michigan, then why not New England?