Jim Harbaugh Rumors Circulate Once Again With Dolphins and Vikings Making an All-Out Push for the Michigan Head Coach

On New Year’s Eve, the Michigan Wolverines played in the College Football Playoff. At the time, rumors about head coach Jim Harbaugh leaving for the NFL began to pick up more steam, even though he hinted that he had no interest. Since then, these talks have been quiet despite nine NFL teams opening up their head coaching jobs.

Well, the Harbaugh rumors got more traction over the weekend. As it turns out, the Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins have emerged as candidates to land the Michigan head coach in what would be a joyous return to the NFL.

Jim Harbaugh emerges as a candidate for the Minnesota Vikings

Harbaugh made his intentions clear just over a month ago with Michigan playing in the College Football Playoff. Or did he?

Either way, Harbaugh’s name has popped up a few times, especially with all of the openings around the NFL. This past weekend, Harbaugh met with the Vikings — and Minnesota is set to interview him again on Wednesday.

After firing Mike Zimmer following a mediocre run with the team, Harbaugh would be a breath of fresh air. However, this isn’t a very desirable option for any coach, especially with the money Kirk Cousins is owed.

Nonetheless, Harbaugh wants to go back to the NFL, or so it seems. If he didn’t, why would he even meet with the Vikings in the first place?

It isn’t just the Vikings, either. One report even suggests that Harbaugh might be using Minnesota as some form of leverage.

The coaching carousel is spinning rapidly, and Harbaugh’s name being added to the mix this late indeed changes the landscape for some teams.

The Miami Dolphins have jumped in to pursue Jim Harbaugh after Brian Daboll lands with the New York Giants

That is an interesting one. The Dolphins have done their fair share of due diligence regarding the coaching cycle. They decided to fire Brian Flores after two seasons in perhaps the most shocking decision of the offseason thus far.

After that, they wasted no time casting an expanded net of options, including the following:

  • Vance Joseph
  • Brian Daboll
  • Mike McDaniel
  • Kellen Moore
  • Thomas Brown
  • Leslie Frazier
  • Dan Quinn

It looks like we can add Harbaugh to that list as well. However, the Dolphins seemed enamored with Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, who was named the New York Giants head coach over the weekend.

With Daboll off the market, perhaps Harbaugh is option No. 1 for the Dolphins. Just weeks ago, it looked like the Michigan HC had no interest in the NFL, but now he does.

San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel was also a favorite for the Dolphins job. Still, Harbaugh is a much more appealing option for many reasons, and some reports insist that Miami’s owner, Stephen Ross, will do whatever it takes to land Harbaugh.

Another thing to consider: Ross is a Michigan alum. If he doesn’t convince Harbaugh to come to Florida and win a potential bidding war with Minnesota, things could get even uglier for Ross.

Either way, Harbaugh appears to be a hot commodity, and a deal could be done in no time with one of these two teams.

Are the Vikings or Dolphins a better destination for Harbaugh?

Jim Harbaugh has emerged for a HC option for the Dolphins and Vikings.
Tua Tagovailoa, Jim Harbaugh, Kirk Cousins | Michael Reaves/ Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

As long as no other teams swoop in and make a run at Harbaugh, it will come down to the Vikings or Dolphins. The choice could be up to him.

Now, which team is a better fit?

On paper, the Dolphins have a far more talented roster. Tua Tagovailoa has question marks, but he has talent — which is why he was a top-5 pick. Jaylen Waddle shined bright at the end of the season, and this Dolphins defense played well all year long, regardless of what the 1-7 start said about this team.

The Vikings have a lot of issues to figure out, with Cousins being the number one priority. At some point, they have to find a future quarterback. On the other hand, Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and Irv Smith Jr. are an excellent core.

The defense is solid, and at this point, anybody will be better than Zimmer.

The answer is simple — the Dolphins are far more attractive, both from a football standpoint and from a lifestyle perspective for Harbaugh. Going from Ann Arbor to Florida would be night and day for him, and Ross will likely gift Harbaugh with a blank check to convince him to go there.

Harbaugh shattered expectations with Michigan this past season and has earned himself a large payday — whether it be at the NFL or in college football. At this point, a return to the Big Ten looks to be out of the picture, and it would be a shock if the Dolphins or Vikings didn’t name Harbaugh as their new head coach in the coming days.

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