Raiders Rumors: Jim Harbaugh, Las Vegas Expected to Have Mutual Interest

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 8, 2022

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh yells during warm ups before the Orange Bowl NCAA College Football Playoff semifinal game against Georgia, Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla.(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

The Las Vegas Raiders and University of Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh are expected to have mutual interest regarding the Silver and Black's head coaching position, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network on Saturday.

Rapoport called Harbaugh a "name to watch" in the coaching search during the NFL hiring cycle before speaking about the Raiders, who are being led by interim coach Rich Bisaccia after Jon Gruden's midseason resignation.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

From <a href="https://twitter.com/NFLGameDay?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFLGameDay</a>: The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Raiders?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Raiders</a> will conduct a thorough coaching search, and <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Michigan?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Michigan</a> coach Jim Harbaugh has garnered some interest. He will, at least, listen. An update on one of the more intriguing names... <a href="https://t.co/QayzSekbIS">pic.twitter.com/QayzSekbIS</a>

"The Las Vegas Raiders, who still have a head coach and still have a chance at the playoffs, are expected to have some interest in Harbaugh.

"Harbaugh is expected to have some interest in the Raiders. Now they're also set to do a real search, not an anointing like they did last time with Jon Gruden, so we'll see where this search takes them.

"But at the least, there's enough interest on both sides to make us think this is at least somewhat real. Though as one source who is very well-informed of this told me last night, Harbaugh loves to be courted."

The 58-year-old has led his alma mater each of the past seven years, leading the Wolverines to a Big Ten title and a College Football Playoff appearance this past season. He's gone 119-51 at the college level for San Diego, Stanford and Michigan.

He also led the San Francisco 49ers from 2011-2014, going 44-19-1 and piloting the team to the 2012 NFC title.

Per Sam Webb of 247Sports, Harbaugh has told recruits that he's at least entertaining NFL offers.

The Raiders have gone 6-5 under Bisaccia, who has done a good job leading a team that has undergone a significant amount of turmoil this year, including Gruden's aforementioned resignation following the release of anti-gay and misogynistic emails.

It also includes the release of starting wideout Henry Ruggs III after he was arrested and charged with DUI resulting in death.

Bisaccia could very well stay on to get the job full done, but the Raiders should have a good candidate pool to choose from, including Harbaugh, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and more.

For now, the Raiders have a win-and-in game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday evening, with the winner going to the playoffs.