What a fit this would be!
The Mike Zimmer era isn’t quite over yet for the Minnesota Vikings, but that hasn’t stopped speculation that the writing is already on the wall after the head coach’s eighth season with the team. If it’s out with the old and in with the new, then Jim Harbaugh’s name needs to be at the top of the list for the job.
The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman reported sources from both the NFL and the University of Michigan believe it’s possible for Harbaugh to be swayed to leave the Wolverines for an NFL return.
It would obviously have to be the right situation. Why would he leave a team he just got over the hump to the College Football Playoffs for a bad situation in desperate need of a complete rebuild?
Harbaugh might have a lot of energy left in the tank at only 58 years of age, but that’s pushing it.
Instead of walking into a situation bereft of high-end talent, he should be looking to go somewhere that he can step right in and be the missing piece. Yes, money is going to be a roadblock (it always is), and other teams will likely be vying hard for his services. But if we’re talking about strictly a fit perspective, there’s no better team out there for Harbaugh to make his return than with the Vikings.
There isn’t a job vacancy with anywhere near the same level of offensive talent. Dalvin Cook is one of the best running backs in the league, and Justin Jefferson is 124 yards away from breaking Randy Moss’ single-season franchise record for receiving yards.
And quarterback Kirk Cousins has been great.
Okay, maybe he hasn’t been the big-money guy capable of carrying an entire franchise on his shoulders, but he wouldn’t have to with Harbaugh overseeing what ended up being one of the worst defensive teams statistically in 2021.
It’s easy to forget the Vikings had one of the best pass rushes in the league before the injury and illness bug bit.
Minnesota is ready to win right now—not two, four or even five years from now.
Harbaugh walked right into San Francisco back in 2011 and changed the culture there immediately. The 49ers went from a 6-10 season and missing the playoffs to advancing to the NFC Championship game for the next three consecutive seasons.
He also led the team to an appearance at Super Bowl XLVII with Colin Kaepernick as his quarterback. Things obviously fizzled out in his final year with the team due to inner turmoil with ownership. But the truth remains that Harbaugh seemed destined for greatness in the NFL.
He should be interested in the Vikings, and the Vikings should be interested in him, too.