The topic of Jim Harbaugh’s contract with Michigan Football has taken priority over a potential game with the Ohio State Buckeyes this upcoming weekend, and probably rightfully so. It has long felt like time for Michigan to pick a direction one way or another and it seems like their offer is on the table.
After rumors emerged of a contract extension looming over the weekend, author John U. Bacon put on his reporter’s hat once again to share some details of what is happening behind the scenes. For those not in the know, he has written several books with inside info on Michigan and is as connected as it comes in Ann Arbor circles.
Bacon tweeted out that Michigan has offered a contract with a lower base salary and buyout that would be incentive laden and still allow him the resources he needs to hire the top assistants he possibly can.
“UM AD Warde Manuel has discussed with Jim Harbaugh a new contract with lower base salary and buyout, though with good provisions to hire top assistants and large incentives for performance,” Bacon tweeted on Monday night.
“Harbaugh can now accept, negotiate, or decline. At least five NFL teams have expressed an interest in hiring him – per usual – though not clear if any have made firm offers yet.”
There have been rumors floating around about the deal being for three years, but it is unclear if that is the current term being discussed.
It seems like the ball is now in Harbaugh’s court to counter and negotiate, sign the deal as is or walk away. The NFL rumors have been persistent since he arrived at Michigan, but this is one of the first times we have heard legitimate buzz that there is interest from teams in the league.
Harbaugh has compiled a 49-22 record in six seasons at Michigan so far, but is 11-10 in the last 21 games played with this year being a bottoming out of sorts at 2-4 with a game still looming against Ohio State (if they play it). Should he return, it seems a nuking of the staff would be in order, though it remains what that might look like.
It looks like we are back to Harbaugh Watch and following the updates as they come in, though this is all very different than six Decembers ago.