NFL Rumors: Latest on Jim Harbaugh, Russell Wilson Trade Buzz and MoreJanuary 12, 2022
NFL Rumors: Latest on Jim Harbaugh, Russell Wilson Trade Buzz and More
While 14 NFL teams are gearing up for the playoffs, the rest of the league has already turned its attention to the 2022 offseason.
And another domino fell on Tuesday, when the New York Giants fired head coach Joe Judge.
"[Co-owner] Steve [Tisch] and I both believe it is in the best interest of our franchise to move in another direction," Giants co-owner John Mara said in a statement.
This leaves the Giants, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings at the forefront of the head coaching search. Other franchises are looking ahead to free agency, the trade market and the 2022 NFL draft.
Here, we'll dive into some of the latest NFL buzz coming out of the regular season.
Jim Harbaugh Considering an NFL Return
With multiple teams seeking a new head coach for 2022, Michigan's Jim Harbaugh could become a popular candidate.
Back in 2011, he left Stanford to take the San Francisco 49ers job. He won Coach of the Year in his first season and guided San Francisco to the Super Bowl in his second. After going 8-8 in his fourth NFL season, though, he returned to college for the Michigan job.
The 58-year-old's rapid success in the NFL makes him an intriguing candidate, provided he's willing to leave the Wolverines. According to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, he is at least pondering the move.
"Jim Harbaugh, I can tell you this, has been calling around, asking for people, in case he gets an NFL job, if they would join his staff," Glazer said on the Fox NFL pregame show.
Obviously, this doesn't necessarily mean Harbaugh is looking to leave Michigan, but it does suggest he's open to the right NFL offer. According to Dolphins franchise owner Stephen Ross, that offer won't come from Miami.
"He's at the University of Michigan as everybody really knows," Ross said, per Michael Cohen of the Detroit Free Press. "And I guess that is my school I graduated from and I'm really involved in it, and I'm not going to be the person who takes Jim Harbaugh from the University of Michigan. I hope he stays there."
Seahawks Unlikely to Trade Russell Wilson
The Seattle Seahawks appear to be sticking with head coach Pete Carroll for at least another year. Their plan, it seems, is to stick with quarterback Russell Wilson as well.
The quarterback is a future Hall of Famer still capable of playing at a high level. He's also under contract through 2023, so Seattle really has no reason to move on.
However, the 33-year-old hinted at requesting a trade this past offseason, and Glazer believes the eight-time Pro Bowler could try forcing his way out in 2022.
"Right now everything's great. But in the offseason can I see Russell do this again? A million percent. I see Russell trying to do this again," Glazer said in October on the NFL on Fox pregame show.
According to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, though, the Seahawks have no plans to trade Wilson in 2022.
"Sources familiar with the Seahawks' thinking say the team has no plans to trade Wilson this offseason and is proceeding as if he'll be their QB in 2022, regardless of any other big changes in the aftermath of a disappointing season that concludes Sunday against the Cardinals," he wrote.
Things could always change—especially if Wilson becomes adamant about getting a change of scenery—but the plan seems to be running it back with Carroll and Wilson next year.
Doug Pederson Drawing Interest from Multiple Teams
Former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson might not be at the top of every team's wish list, but he's getting consideration from more than half of the teams with coaching vacancies.
According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, four teams are now in on the 53-year-old.
"Doug Pederson is scheduling interview with Bears and will end up interviewing with the Vikings and Broncos as well. Already met with Jacksonville," La Canfora tweeted.
Pederson, of course, coached the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory during the 2017 season. He also helped develop Carson Wentz into a viable MVP candidate that same year.
While Wentz hasn't been the same quarterback since—and the Eagles parted with both Wentz and Pederson this past offseason—these are still attractive entries on the coach's resume.
The Bears and Jaguars have young signal-callers they're looking to develop, in Justin Fields and Trevor Lawrence, respectively. The Broncos are expected to be in the quarterback market this offseason, while the Vikings could look to move on from Kirk Cousins when his contract expires after the 2022 season.
Pederson helped end Philadelphia's championship drought. It feels likely he'll soon get the chance to try doing the same for a different franchise.