The San Francisco 49ers may look at a trade with Jim Harbaugh if they don't want to bring him back in 2015, as the head coach has a year left on his contract and likely will be targeted by the Oakland Raiders, Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns and NY Jets in the NFL, while the Michigan Wolverines have extended him an offer that he is considering.
Harbaugh's job has been on the line despite the fact that he has taken his team to three straight NFC championship games, as he has had a frosty relationship with the front office. Harbaugh is considered to be a great coach but he often can rub people the wrong way and now that the Niners have been eliminated from playoff contention for the first time under Harbaugh, the team may look at making a change. According to Adam Schefter at ESPN.com, the Raiders are expected to go after Harbaugh this offseason, while the NY Jets also could be interested if they fire Rex Ryan.
Harbaugh has been wildly successful in San Francisco, but there have been some cracks between him and the front office. The team now could look at making a move and that would put Harbaugh out there as one of the best coaching candidates available. There are a number of jobs expected to be open, including the Raiders, Jets, Miami Dolphins as well as potentially the Bears and Buccaneers. Michigan is also an option for Harbaugh.
The Browns also could make a move on Mike Pettine and they would be interested in Harbaugh, as they tried to trade for him last year. Pro Football Talk reports that Joe Philbin likely is out in Miami and that could open things up for Harbaugh as well. Stephen Ross will want to bring in a major name if Philbin is out and he has money to spend and could try to woo Harbaugh after previously trying once before.
Harbaugh has taken the team to a Super Bowl and has helped orchestrate a major turnaround after a decade without winning. The team now looks poised to move on from Harbaugh and seemingly it has nothing to do with how he has coached the team although this year it has not been a success. Colin Kaepernick has taken a step back and the 7-7 record and missing the playoffs are likely what will be cited if he is let go.
Harbaugh easily can go to Oakland if they make a deal, as they are in the Bay Area and desperately need a head coach. The team would love to get Harbaugh, as he is a name guy and someone that can come in and hopefully turn things around quickly. ESPN.com also reports that Michigan is looking at Harbaugh and they feel they have a chance after he went to Michigan as a football player and was quarterback for the Wolverines. A move to Oakland would likely give Harbaugh some personnel power, something that has been an issue with the Niners.
Harbaugh has been with Stanford and San Francisco and many think that he is a west coast type and that is why the Raiders are the frontrunners for Harbaugh if the 49ers make a move.