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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Jim Harbaugh’s Next Move: Highest-Paid CFB Coach, or NFL?

  • Jim Harbaugh has signed a new agent with strong NFL ties.
  • Michigan’s coach has been linked to an NFL return all season.
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Harbaugh will be coaching for his first national championship at Michigan on Monday. The College Football Playoff title game against Washington could also be his last with the Wolverines.

After a regular season filled with controversy surrounding Michigan’s sign-stealing case and rumors of its head coach returning to the NFL, a (somewhat) recent move is adding fuel to the fire. Harbaugh hired a new agent, Don Yee, who is best known for repping NFL clients like Tom Brady and Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton, according to ESPN

While the ESPN report came out Sunday, several Michigan-centric reporters have claimed that Yee was hired weeks or even months ago, and may have already been working on Harbaugh’s next deal, in college or the NFL.

A potential contract extension for Harbaugh at Michigan has been a topic of discussion this season. Most recently, Michigan reportedly offered Harbaugh a 10-year, $125 million deal (with a clause preventing him from taking an NFL job in 2024). By any measure, that would be the biggest contract in college football. Last year, Yee helped Payton come out of retirement to sign with Denver for a five-year deal that is said to be worth nearly $100 million.

Looming Issues

Michigan suspended Harbaugh for the first three games of this season for recruiting violations, and then the Big Ten suspended him for the final three games of the regular season for his role in an alleged sign-stealing controversy.

In October, NFL.com reported that the league may suspend Harbaugh if he were to accept an NFL job and he was found to have violated NCAA rules any further. The NCAA has informed Harbaugh of the charges that could result in an additional suspension in 2024. Harbaugh hasn’t commented on the NFL rumors, saying he is focused on the playoff.

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