After a San Fransisco 49ers loss to Seattle and a Detroit Lions victory over Minnesota on Sunday, the answers we’re seeking concerning Jim Harbaugh and a possible future with the Michigan Wolverines may not be far away.
Four scenarios remain for the 49ers and Harbaugh:
1) Harbaugh is fired.
2) San Fransisco management looks to trade away Harbaugh.
3) Harbaugh steps down on his own terms.
4) The two sides come to some unlikely agreement and Harbaugh stays in San Fransisco.
Scenarios 1 and 2 seem to be the most likely to come to fruition. There are a few NFL teams who seem legitimately interested in the coach who led his team to three straight playoff appearances prior to this season. One of those teams is the Oakland Raiders, a franchise that would be very likely lay a large sum of money on the table.
Should the 49ers look to trade their head coach, Harbaugh would have a decision to make concerning whether or not to accept it. Also worth noting is that teams may be reluctant to offer anything of significant value in terms of draft picks.
If Harbaugh decides to step down or is fired, he will have control over his future, and Michigan can swoop in with what is reported to be money that can compete with the NFL franchises gunning for him. Another plus for Michigan is that it can offer Harbaugh more control over the program.
There has been a reported struggle for power between Harbaugh and 49ers management, which is why his departure from San Fransisco seems inevitable at this point.
After his team’s loss to the Seahawks, Harbaugh told the media he expects a coming conversation between himself and headman Jed York.
“I’m always available to sit down with the owner or general manager, absolutely,” Harbaugh said.
Now that San Fransisco has officially been eliminated from the playoff, expect things to get more interesting concerning Harbaugh’s future and Michigan’s role in it. Interim athletic director Jim Hackett can make his strike, if he hasn’t already, and this brutal waiting game could be ending sooner rather than later.
Tyler Fenwick is the managing editor of The Big House Report. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.