Jets Deny Rumor About Targeting Jim Harbaugh If Todd Bowles Is Fired

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh reacts following a 21-7 win over Michigan State in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Al Goldis/Associated Press

If the New York Jets reportedly have their way, Jim Harbaugh has coached his last game at the University of Michigan.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported Sunday that the Jets are "planning to make a run at Harbaugh after the season ends" with a "financial offer he can't refuse, well in excess of the $7 million he earns in Ann Arbor."

Florio noted Harbaugh has said he will remain with his alma mater, but that apparently won't stop the Jets from pursuing him if and when they fire head coach Todd Bowles.

However, Jets CEO Christopher Johnson refuted the report Monday morning, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport: "Todd Bowles is our Head Coach. There is no truth to the report of our interest in Jim Harbaugh."

Bowles appeared well on his way to a successful tenure with the Jets when he went 10-6 during the 2015 campaign, but he finished just 5-11 the next two years and is again struggling this season. New York fell to 4-11 on Sunday with a 44-38 overtime loss to the Green Bay Packers.

As for Harbaugh, he took over a struggling Michigan program that went 5-7 in 2014 and has successfully turned around the Wolverines.

He is 38-13 in four seasons and reached the Orange Bowl in 2016 and the Peach Bowl this season after remaining in the College Football Playoff discussion for the majority of the years. However, Harbaugh is yet to defeat archrival Ohio State, and a return to the NFL could offer him the opportunity to make more money and escape the Buckeyes' stranglehold on the Big Ten.

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Harbaugh also coached the San Francisco 49ers for four seasons from 2011 through 2014 and went 44-19-1 while reaching a Super Bowl.

He was dominant in the NFL in the past and could help turn around the Jets if he elects to leave.