Submitted by Brian on December 17th, 2014 at 2:04 PM


I guess this one is only mildly entertaining


More people in my inbox saying it's all but done, GFunk popping up on Rivals to say the same, etc. It seems like just about everyone in the Michigan community who knows someone or talks to someone or talks to someone who talks to someone is increasingly certain that it's happening.

Money's getting thrown around. Sam had an unconfirmed report of a 49 million dollar offer and an "eight year plan"; the telephone game reached a reporter in Arizona citing a nutty six year, $49 million dollar contract.

Michigan thinks this is happening much harder than I've ever seen any insider community think anything is happening.

CUE JAWS MUSIC THOUGH. Optimistic thoughts about a relatively small number of attractive NFL jobs coming open this offseason should be shelved. The Dolphins aren't heading for the playoffs, which could be it for Joe Philbin. The Bears may actually fire Mark Trestman after just two years. (FWIW, that report comes from a radio guy it seems and no one else has confirmed it—would not take it as gospel.) Sam asserts that the Raiders and possibly the Dolphins are considering coming in with full-control offers.

Those could change the situation rapidly, and that's why I remain hesitant to go all in on it's happening dot gif. Until NFL teams figure out what they're doing and Harbaugh knows what's on the table I'm wary.

This isn't about "flakiness," which every Michigan reporter will reference in the downer section of their post. (I am just as guilty of this as everyone else.) It's about a major change in available information to Harbaugh changing what he wants to do. If this does go sour I guarantee some guys who got burned will blame Harbaugh in order to deflect heat. It happened last time; it'll happen this time.

mystery-man[1]SO THEN: PLAN B. If things go sour with Harbaugh, what then? Nobody knows. Paysites have all but ceased mentioning anything about other candidates in this feeding-frenzy phase, and when they do the names they mention are far from sure things. One guy who is still looking at other guys is 24/7's Clint Brewster, who has a source saying that it'll come down to Harbaugh and Dan Mullen, albeit after Michigan takes swings at David Shaw and Jim Mora without success.

Brewster's sources are of the agent/coach variety and are thus more speculative than indirect chatter from inside the department… but there isn't any of that. That note feels more like a logical conclusion from available facts than anything truly insider.

I will say that I've heard a couple things indicating that the Plan B names we've heard so far are almost all bunk… and that Mullen is not a candidate either.

Plan B right now: no idea. Which is scary.

ACT LIKE A CLOWN, GET TREATED LIKE A CLOWN. Tim Kawakami samples from the Lochmann school of PR:

Kawakami's had some interesting, blunt stuff on the 49ers situation, but that's not a good look. He started getting some heat on twitter after his latest column explaining the reasons a Raiders move "actually might be the most reasonable" option for Harbaugh, and I get why. That column comes off like bloviation, and people don't care what journalist X thinks, they want to know what the people actually involved think. A follow up to get background is natural; for it to get shut down is indicative that the guy 1) doesn't have anything concrete and 2) is insecure about it.

There is a certain genre of journalist who gets ruffled by the dim bulbs on twitter, treats reasonable people like crap, and wonders why nobody likes him. I don't get it, man.

DO IT, DO IT. Paul Chryst to Wisconsin is going to be official at 7 Eastern, so the Panthers are about to be in the market for a head guy. How could that impact the Michigan search? By taking a bullet for us:

Don't mind if you do. Sorry about this, Spilly.

NO I WILL NOT LET THIS GO. Tom Herman's deal is a little over one million per year. Break glass in case of emergency—it ain't that thick.

ETC.: I feel better about saying that Michigan "couldn't get it up on the road" earlier this year now that today's Michigan Insider turned into a four-hour discussion of jimmy hats. Fox rounds up the rumors. Yeah man just go to Michigan.

Gary Patterson signs an extension, not that he was likely to move in any case. Jane's emotional rollercoaster is a lot like yours.


I Wrote a 4 Wo…

December 17th, 2014 at 2:09 PM ^

Have you heard anymore about a potential #ItsHappening date?

His season ends the 28th & hasn't officially (unless illegally) heard from NFL teams and that could change the game, as you said. Or is it still essentially "no news is good news"?

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


December 17th, 2014 at 2:31 PM ^

From what I have read on the 29th there are several scenarios:

1) JH quits (and owes the Niners buy out money?)

2) Another NFL team offers JH, JH accepts, and they compensate the Niners with buy out money, and a trade (Jon Gruden precedent).

3) Another NFL team(s) offer JH and he declines, in which case:

    a) the Niners retain him as head coach for his final contract year - or -

    b) they fire him and owe him the final year of his contract

4) JH takes the Michigan job (for which he does not owe a buy out?)

Do I have these right???

You're Jim Harbaugh - what do you do? You wait, check the NFL options, and either do 2 or 3 a or b + 4 having leveraged 2 to get the most out of Michigan. (Who in their right mind would want to coach the Jets, Browns, Phins or Raiders? Chicago I can see.)

At some point on the 29th Harbaugh and the Niner's owners will be playing high stakes poker and bluffs will be called.


December 17th, 2014 at 2:44 PM ^

This whole mess in the NFL situations is very much in Michigan's favor.

First Jim would have to see all the NFL scenarios - a day or 2 for all the mass firings.  Then Jim has to evaluate which of the NFL offers he wants to accept (if not Michigan).  Then whichever he favors.... that team and Jim have to bargain with Baalke and York, 2 guy who don't want great outcomes for Jim.   So Baalke and York on 1 side of the table and Harbaugh and future NFL team on the other - and they have to agree on compensation.  Something that both sides will be fighting tooth and nail to maximize (for the 49ers) and minimize (for future NFL team).  For groups of people with lots of bad blood between them.

It might be many days or even weeks for all that to play out.

Hopefully it is all moot.  


December 17th, 2014 at 3:39 PM ^

I wonder how the Niners would handle the chances of a team trading for Harbaugh and giving him full control. Completely hypothetical here -  Niners say we'll take a 4th round this year and 6th round next year if we're trading him to be your coach.  Oh, you're giving him a GM title as well.  We also want a 2nd round pick either this year or next year then too.



December 17th, 2014 at 2:46 PM ^

1) JH quits (and owes the Niners buy out money?)

JH wouldn't owe the 49ers anything if he quit. He wouldn't get paid the last year of his 49ers contract, though, unless the 49ers fired him.

2) Another NFL team offers JH, JH accepts, and they compensate the Niners with buy out money, and a trade (Jon Gruden precedent).

Under this scenario, JH would be traded to another team (pending JH's approval). The 49ers would get a draft pick (or draft picks) in exchange. The team JH would be traded to would not compenstate the 49ers with buy out money, per se, they would just inherit the final year of JH's contract. 

3) Another NFL team(s) offer JH and he declines, in which case:

    a) the Niners retain him as head coach for his final contract year - or -

    b) they fire him and owe him the final year of his contract


4) JH takes the Michigan job (for which he does not owe a buy out?)

If JH quit, he simply would be paid the money for the final year of his 49ers contract. 1) and 4) are essentially the same. 

I hope I have this correct.

Gerald R. Ford

December 17th, 2014 at 2:47 PM ^

Thanks for everything you do.  I have had concerns about other teams as you mention above - particularly the Bears.  I don't know what his relationship is with the McCaskeys.  

Based on reports we are seeing, there may be a number of possible "full-control" offers with various teams.  This possibility is not completely new though - at any point, Harbaugh and his agents would have known that this possibility existed or would eventually come up.  So, over the past 1-2 weeks, these possibilities come to light, and yet Hackett has not even flinched once thus far.  Not once.  The fact that Hackett has not moved is the only thing that is actually clear in this process.  Am I crazy to think that this, in itself, suggests that this is a fait accompli?