Michigan Football: is Jim Harbaugh still not closing the NFL door?

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

After Michigan football’s successful 12-2 season came to an end in 2021, there seemed to be an immediate change in the attitude of Jim Harbaugh. Between NFL rumors and interviews, it has been a messy offseason for the Wolverines so far, and Jim Harbaugh seemingly still won’t shut the NFL door. 

As recruits signed their letters of intent on national signing day at other schools, Jim Harbaugh sat in a conference room in Minnesota. He was interviewing to potentially become the next head coach of the Minnesota Vikings — a position that he was not offered — but eventually announced his plans to return to Michigan for the coming season.

Since Harbaugh’s awkward return to Ann Arbor, he has signed a new extension and shown his face all over the city and campus as if to reinforce his commitment to the school. Still, the thought of the NFL seems to linger in his mind.

According to ESPN, “[Harbaugh] confirmed to reporters that he told Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel that he does not want these rumors to persist beyond this year, and expressed to Manuel that he has ended his interest in the NFL for the duration of his new contract.

Must Read. Is JJ McCarthy ready to start at Michigan?. light

Paying attention to every word Harbaugh uses here is essential because Jim Harbaugh knows how many people are watching him and chooses every word carefully. The most vital segment of that Harbaugh’s quote is “for the duration of his new contract.”

In his most recent quote, Harbaugh says that he intends to bring Michigan football a national title — something the program has done 11 times in its history, most recently in 1997. Even though Jim Harbaugh will likely be staying at Michigan for the remainder of his contract, it is essential to take these quotes for what they are.

One thing that is for sure is that few teams — if any — will want an old-school, 60-year-old head coach in the NFL by the time Harbaugh’s contract runs out, meaning the likelihood of Harbaugh actually making a return to the NFL is incredibly low.

Nonetheless, two months ago, Harbaugh had seemingly renounced the possibility of a return to pro football, but that may not be the case.

For the time being, Jim Harbaugh is the head coach of the Wolverines. He has an astounding resume at Michigan thus far, and will likely have another great season in 2022.

Next. Michigan football star set to return to Ann Arbor. dark

In Harbaugh’s defense, his last two contract extensions at Michigan are not quite enough to reassure him of his future with the program, and leaving the door open may just be a way to bargain for more money come next extension.