Round and round, the imaginary offseason coach hiring wheel is about to spin, and what teams that need head coaches are going to take a lunge for Jim Harbaugh? The University of Michigan doesn’t count, this is about NFL teams.
1. The New York Jets
I think that the Jets will be more hasty in going after Harbaugh than others on the list. Although both the Raiders and the Jets are cleaning house (head coaches + general managers being fired), I think the Jets’ organization and front office are licking their chops about the Harbaugh sweepstakes, and will pursue him more than the next team.
2. The Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders are a mess. They fired their head coach after Week 4, and are now under interim man Tony Sparano (who has honestly done a good job in getting the team competitive). GM Reggie McKenzie will also be fired by season’s end, so the Raiders will be looking for a head coach with a track record who also might be able to serve as a decent de facto general manager. However, I think Harbaugh will be more reluctant to go to Oakland because the team is so sparse of talent as opposed to the Jets, who have up and coming guys like Jace Amaro and proven talents like Nick Mangold.
3. The Miami Dolphins
3. The Chicago Bears
This is a long shot, but I think it might be worthwhile. The Bears are firing Marc Trestman, there’s no question. They’ll be in need of a head coach, and the Bears have often been feisty in the offseason, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they tagged along behind Harbaugh for a while in hope that he’ll be able to satisfy Bears nation. Although, it’s probably the least likely of any team on the list, even more than the wild card.
Wild Card: The Buffalo Bills
Doug Marrone hasn’t done much for the Bills. After a 25-25 college record, he’s come to the Bills for two seasons and gone 14-16. That’s not a good record, and I think any Bills fan would be lying to themselves if they thought Doug Marrone was the man to lead them to their first playoff berth since 1999 or their first playoff win since 1995. The Bills have traditionally been super aggressive during offseason moves or even the draft: the Sammy Watkins trade, for example, or Ralph Wilson busting his wallet for Mario Williams a few years back. I think there’s a slim chance the Bills fire Doug Marrone, but if they do, expect them to be on Jim Harbaugh like a wet shirt.