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#pounditSaturday, January 16, 2021

Jim Harbaugh

Terms of new Jim Harbaugh Michigan contract revealed

Jim Harbaugh

Jim Harbaugh’s new contract with the Michigan Wolverines contains some significant adjustments to his salary and incentives.

According to Scott Roussel of FootballScoop, Harbaugh will be guaranteed $4 million annually. Bonuses could add an extra $3.475 million to that sum. It’s a significant drop in his base salary, and moves him from first to eighth among Big Ten coaches.

Harbaugh made $8 million last year.

Harbaugh’s buyout is significantly lower as well. It starts at $2 million, and drops by $500,000 annually. Harbaugh would be owed $4 million by the school if he is fired after 2021, and that number will drop by $1 million each year thereafter.

The lower sum is at least partially an acknowledgement that Harbaugh has not been as successful at Michigan as the school has hoped. Now Michigan has to acknowledge the fact that their rivals are pretty happy that Harbaugh will be sticking around.

Ohio State trolls Michigan over Jim Harbaugh extension

Jim Harbaugh

Michigan had another disappointing season in 2020, but Jim Harbaugh is not going anywhere. The coach signed an extension with the school this week, and some Wolverines fans have questioned the move. Michigan’s biggest rival seems quite pleased, however.

The Athletic’s Nick Baumgardner reported on Thursday that Harbaugh is finalizing a five-year contract extension with Michigan that will pay him a base salary of $4 million. That is a significant decrease in pay, though incentives could bring the number up to $8 million. Bleacher Report tweeted the news, and the officially account of Ohio State Football was among those who “liked” the tweet.

It wasn’t an accident, either. The person running the account replied to Bleacher Report with a hilarious tweet.

Harbaugh’s overall record at Michigan is 49-22, which is not horrible. The biggest issue has been his failure to win big games, many of which have come against Ohio State. Harbaugh’s teams are 0-5 against the Buckeyes. That has led to him being trolled by Urban Meyer and his family.

Meyer is no longer at Ohio State, but the Buckeyes are still confident in their ability to get the best of Harbaugh.

Report: Jim Harbaugh finalizing contract extension at discount with Michigan

Jim Harbaugh

Jim Harbaugh had a down season for Michigan, and the Wolverines appear to be taking the opportunity to restructure the coach’s deal more favorably.

Harbaugh is finalizing a five-year contract extension with Michigan, according to The Athletic’s Nick Baumgardner. Baumgardner reports that the deal will be for a base salary of $4 million, with incentives that could get the coach back to $8 million. The buyout is expected to be low.

Harbaugh was previously among the most highly-compensated coaches in college football. He was often targeted for not living up to his lofty salary. The negotiations seem to have put him at a level of compensation more in line with his recent performance.

According to The Detroit News, the contract includes: “incentives for winning the Big Ten East Division, a Big Ten championship, reaching the national playoffs and winning a national championship.”

Harbaugh’s current deal is set to expire after the 2021 season.

Jim Harbaugh expected to sign new contract extension through 2026

Jim Harbaugh

Jim Harbaugh and Michigan have been working on a possible contract extension, and the deal could be finalized soon.

FOX and The Athletic reporter Bruce Feldman reported on Saturday that Michigan believes a new contract extension with Harbaugh will be finalized soon. The deal would run through 2026.

Harbaugh just completed his sixth season at Michigan. The program finished 2-4 in the shortened 2020 season, which marked his worst performance by far. This marked only the second time that Harbaugh’s team finished unranked by the AP (four of his teams finished ranked at least No. 18).

In addition to the 2-4 season, Harbaugh’s Michigan squads have lost four straight bowl games. They haven’t beaten Ohio State under his watch. All those reasons are why many are surprised about the extension news. However, Harbaugh is still considered desirable in the NFL world, which could have put some pressure on Michigan to get something done. This deal might also be on more favorable terms for Michigan.

Report: Michigan seeking major changes to Jim Harbaugh’s contract

Jim Harbaugh

The Michigan Wolverines and Jim Harbaugh could be headed for a contract standoff in the weeks and months to come.

Harbaugh would be entering the final season of his contract in 2021, but the two sides have had discussions dating back to before the 2020 season. The season itself, however, has hurt Harbaugh, with the Wolverines poised to finish a miserable 2-4.

Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports reported on “Big Noon Kickoff” that Harbaugh and Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel have begun “preliminary” talks on a contract extension. However, the school is seeking a lower base salary as part of the deal with significant incentives included.

Sources close to Harbaugh told Feldman that they’re not sure the coach’s “ego” would allow him to accept such a deal. It may ultimately come down to whether Harbaugh has options in the NFL that he could either take or use as leverage against Michigan in contract talks.

There is some talk that Harbaugh does have NFL interest. That could complicate the situation for Michigan if, as it appears, the school does want Harbaugh back. If the coach’s only realistic option is Michigan, he may be stuck taking a reduction on his $8 million annual salary.

Harbaugh has dismissed questions about his job status, and it’s clear the Wolverines won’t be firing him. However, it’s pretty clear there is at least some question about whether he’ll be back at Michigan in 2021.

Report: Jim Harbaugh has received interest from five NFL teams

Jim Harbaugh

Rumors are swirling regarding Jim Harbaugh’s job status with Michigan, and it seems as if the coach has some options.

Writer John U. Bacon reported on Monday that Harbaugh has received a new contract offer from Michigan. Bacon says the offer would be for a lower base salary and buyout, but would include large incentives. It sounds like the Wolverines are trying to adjust Harbaugh’s pay downward to reflect the program’s poor season.

Bacon adds that Harbaugh has received interest from at least five NFL teams.

The rumors tying Harbaugh to the NFL seem to pop up every year. But now, more than ever, there are legitimate reasons to wonder about Harbaugh’s future.

Harbaugh has improved Michigan’s program since taking over from Brady Hoke, but the team is 2-4 this season and has taken a big step backwards after five consecutive winning years (including three double-digit win seasons). If there is a time for Harbaugh to leave Ann Arbor, it might be before he gets pushed out due to poor performance.

Of course, the rumors don’t necessarily mean anything. Harbaugh offered this response to job rumors last week.

Jim Harbaugh responds to latest speculation about job status

Jim Harbaugh

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh addressed another round of speculation about his job on Friday.

A report on 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit, relayed by Tony Paul of the Detroit News, claimed that Harbaugh could not give potential recruits assurances that he would be at Michigan in 2021. That suggested that either Harbaugh had serious doubts about his job security or was looking for a way out.

It didn’t take long for Harbaugh to address the report. His response, to Sam Webb of The Michigan Insider: “It’s not true!”

Harbaugh pretty much has to shoot this one down. Whether he’s going to be there or not, rumors like this could hurt Michigan’s recruiting going forward if they aren’t addressed quickly.

Ultimately, between Michigan’s 2-4 record and reports like these surfacing, Harbaugh won’t be able to duck job chatter entirely.

Ex-Michigan star Brian Griese wants Jim Harbaugh fired

Jim Harbaugh

Michigan has essentially been good but not great during the majority of Jim Harbaugh’s tenure as head coach, and former Wolverines star Brian Griese feels a coaching change needs to be made in Ann Arbor.

Following Michigan’s 27-17 loss to to Penn State on Saturday, Griese took to Twitter to call for Harbaugh to be fired. The “Monday Night Football” analyst shared a screenshot of some unflattering stats from Harbaugh’s time in Michigan and wrote “Enough is enough!”

Griese won a championship at Michigan in 1997 and was named Rose Bowl MVP in 1998.

As you can see from the graphic, the Wolverines have consistently come up short in big games since Harbaugh was hired in 2015. Their overall record of 49-22 is not horrible, but Michigan is 1-5 in bowl games and 11-16 against ranked teams. They are 2-12 against top-10 teams and have never beaten Ohio State.

Michigan is 2-4 after Saturday’s loss and on pace for their first ever losing season under Harbaugh. The coach took responsibility for the team’s struggles following a recent embarrassing loss.

Urban Meyer, who consistently owned Harbaugh’s teams when he was coaching at Ohio State, recently offered a bold take for how Michigan might be able to turn things around. It’s possible Harbaugh won’t be around long enough to carry out a plan like that.

Jim Harbaugh still has not named Cade McNamara the starter over Joe Milton

Jim Harbaugh

Jim Harbaugh on Monday declined to make the announcement that many expect is coming.

Harbaugh spoke with the media on Monday but did not announce that Cade McNamara would be Michigan’s starting quarterback over Joe Milton.

“Not gonna make any dramatic announcements as per usual at this press conference,” Harbaugh said.

McNamara also appeared on the “Stoney & Jansen” show on 97.1 The Ticket Tuesday and said he had not been told anything. McNamara said all the right things, such as he will trust the coaches and be a good team member regardless of what happens.

Even if the announcement isn’t made official, it’s hard to imagine Michigan not starting McNamara.

Michigan is 2-3 and has not looked good all season. Milton has thrown for just 1,056 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions this season. He’s rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown. The team was losing to Rutgers before McNamara came into the game and passed for 260 yards and four touchdowns while leading a comeback victory in three overtimes.

Michigan still has time to turn things around and at least put together a respectable finish. It’s hard to imagine they don’t go to McNamara for the upcoming Penn State game.

Here is what Jim Harbaugh said after embarrassing loss to Wisconsin

Jim Harbaugh

There is no sugarcoating it. There is nothing Jim Harbaugh could possibly say to make Saturday’s blowout loss to Wisconsin feel acceptable to Michigan.

The Wolverines got throttled 49-11 at home by the Badgers. They trailed 28-0 at the half, which was the largest margin at halftime that Michigan had ever trailed by at Michigan Stadium. They continued to stink in the second half and even made a quarterback change from Joe Milton to Cade McNamara.

So what did Harbaugh say after the game? About the only thing he could.

“We were thoroughly beaten in every phase, really did not do anything well,” Harbaugh said. “Did not play good, did not coach good. Not in a good place with the execution, not in a good place with adjusting. … Not a good place as a football team right now, and that falls on me. We’ve got to evaluate all things, everything that we’re doing.”

At least Harbaugh isn’t delusional. That’s something.

Since cruising to victory over Minnesota in their opener, Michigan has lost three in a row. They lost an embarrassing game to Michigan State, which had just lost to Rutgers. They lost at Indiana. And then they got pushed around by Wisconsin.

There is nothing good to say about what’s going on with Michigan. This is the worst a Jim Harbaugh-coached team has ever looked and performed. He might not even be around for Ryan Day to make good on his promise.