So last night, we learned that CEO/Owner Greg Penner flew into Ann Arbor to meet with Michigan head coach, Jim Harbaugh. While no contract was reportedly offered in that meeting, the two have remained in contact, and Harbaugh is willing to listen to the Broncos.
Now today, NFL Network’s insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelisserro are reporting a door remains open for Harbaugh to potentially return to the NFL. He has also been reportedly telling people if he were to return to the NFL, the Broncos are the team he would pick.
Jim Harbaugh announced he was returning to Michigan, but conversations with the #Broncos continued. Last week’s covert mission to Ann Arbor showed the door remains open on Harbaugh’s potential return to the NFL. More from @RapSheet and me: https://t.co/u37Fk1Ceik— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 29, 2023
The two insiders are also reporting that part of the reason Penner flew out to Ann Arbor is that Harbaugh was the only candidate remaining that they have not met with.
A source close to Penner said no offer was made during this week’s visit and that he wanted to visit Harbaugh in part because it was the only candidate he hadn’t interviewed in person. But Harbaugh has remained willing to listen and has told people if he were to return to the NFL, the Broncos’ job is one he’d want. Though Harbaugh has not yet gone back on his stated plans to stay at his alma mater, the door remains open.
So, if you believe this report, it sounds like there is a small chance that the Broncos can still land Jim Harbaugh. The two sides have remained in contact, which is promising, and saying the Broncos' job is the one he would want is also encouraging. However, we have been down this road before and it ended up with him going back to Michigan.
All fell silent on the Harbaugh front after that initial announcement but things are starting to heat up once again, but what are his intentions? He still has not received that new contract/pay raise from Michigan and now he is suddenly back in the news with the Broncos and flirting with a jump to the NFL? Call me pessimistic, but I have seen this story before and it did not end well for the Broncos.
The optimistic fan side of me is encouraged by this. Harbaugh was my personal top choice from the start and the word is, he was the Broncos' top choice as well. They have stayed in contact, he apparently would like the Broncos job, and the door remains slightly cracked, but again, we have seen this story before.
Also, there is word that the Broncos are opening up their coaching search which is a sign they do not expect Harbaugh to make the jump. I would not get my hopes up here and it sounds like the Broncos have regrouped and are making a second run at some coaches.