Christopher Johnson

Getty Images

New York Jets deny report of planned pursuit of Jim Harbaugh

2 Comments

So, a little bit of a brouhaha has broken out involving our parent site.

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reported Sunday that the New York Jets plan to pursue Jim Harbaugh at season’s end. Among the items Florio reported are:

The thinking is that the Jets plan to make Harbaugh a financial offer he can’t refuse, well in excess of the $7 million he earns at Ann Arbor.

The Jets started digging on Harbaugh roughly four weeks ago, and the plan remains to attempt to interview him, which presumes that coach Todd Bowles will be fired after the season.

The Jets denied the report on Monday, as team chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson said in a statement, “Todd Bowles is our Head Coach. There is no truth to the report of our interest in Jim Harbaugh.”

To that, PFT tweeted this.

At the center of all of this, of course, is whether or not Harbaugh is actually interested in leaving his alma mater for New York. Rumors have swirled for the past few weeks that Harbaugh could draw NFL interest — the Miami Dolphins, owned by Michigan booster Stephen Ross, have been another rumored suitor — but all the rumors have pointed one way: from the NFL to Ann Arbor, and not the other way around.

“This is a choreographed message that comes up at this time every year before signing day,” Harbaugh said earlier this month. “It’s people spreading messages to further their own personal agenda. But I’m on record right here, right now: I’m not going anywhere. I’m staying at Michigan. We have big plans here, and there’s a lot we want to accomplish.”

The Jets have yet to make the playoffs in four seasons under Bowles. The club missed a Wild Card birth at 10-6 in his 2015 debut and has not sniffed a winning record since; a win in their season finale on Sunday would give Gang Green three straight 5-11 seasons. In the NFL, that’s usually plenty of ammunition for a club to give its coach his walking papers, but it remains to be seen if Harbaugh is interested in leaving Michigan, particularly now that Urban Meyer is leaving the rivalry.