NFL Rumors: Analyst picks Jim Harbaugh as favorite to replace Matt Nagy in Chicago
The team that many fans feel Harbaugh would be a perfect fit for is the Chicago Bears. The Bears recently let go of head coach Matt Nagy and are now on the hunt for his replacement.
Jim Harbaugh played quarterback for the Bears from 1987-1993 and reporters like ESPN's Mike Wilborn think he'd be a perfect fit for Chicago's head coaching position.
Wilborn listed several factors that indicate Jim Harbaugh might be the perfect man for the job in Chicago. Ranging from things such as Harbaugh being beloved by the Bears organization to more pedestrian reasons, like he played with the Bears longer than he played at the University of Michigan.
However, his most recent stint as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers is where most of his NFL credentials can be sourced. Harbaugh was at the helm in San Francisco for 4 years, from 2011 to 2014.
While there, Harbaugh guided the 49ers to an NFC championship, while also making a Super Bowl appearance. He left San Francisco with a 44-19-1 record, which translates to an impressive 0.695 winning percentage.
Another thing that may give Harbaugh an advantage over other candidates, as WIlbon suggested, is that the former knows how to develop a young NFL quarterback. Namely Colin Kaepernick, a player who Wilbon said had similar skills to Chicago's current rookie quarterback Justin Fields.
Although the Bears are a talented bunch on defense with the likes of Khalil Mack, Harbaugh wouldn't have a lot of star power on the offensive side of the ball to work with at first glance. He will also more than likely have to deal with "the thorn in Chicago's side," - Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers, for a few more years.
Was 2021 Jim Harbaugh's Michigan swansong?
Until this past season, Michigan found very little success in the Big Ten. They hadn't beaten Ohio State since Harbaugh's arrival, hadn't won the Big Ten title, nor had they made the College Football Playoff.
2021 saw Harbaugh's seven years of hard work in Michigan finally bear fruit. He led Michigan to their first Big Ten Football Championship since 2004 and punched a ticket to the College Football Playoff. Becoming the first head coach in history to reach both the College Football Playoff and the NFL Playoffs.
In a season that included beating arch rivals Ohio State for the first time in 10 years, Harbaugh was also named The Associated Press College Football Coach of the Year in 2021.
With all that being said, the question remains, is Harbaugh ready to take up a new NFL challenge? Considering that he has finally gotten Michigan's program back on track, he may see his mission there as "complete."
If Harbaugh is seeking pastures new, then, as Wilborn pointed out, now is the time to do so. However, should he take up the head coaching position in Chicago, the 58 year old will most likely be embarking on a rebuilding mission.