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Where Will Jim Harbaugh Coach Next Season?

Jim Harbaugh hasn’t left yet. Still the current head coach of Michigan football and fresh off a National Championship, rumors of his next destination continue to swirl. DraftKings even released odds for where the scandal-surviving coach will be this upcoming season, from another major university to the NFL. Harbaugh is a complex hire no matter where he goes. He comes in with prior success in the NFL and pushing Michigan back to a championship pedigree, but he also cheated — not just in Monopoly but real life stuff on the sidelines that clearly had enough of an impact to warrant a three-game suspension. Keep all this in mind as we hit Jim Harbaugh’s next team odds.

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Next Team for Jim Harbaugh: NFL Coaching Odds

The Los Angeles Chargers are the odds-on favorite by quite a bit. It makes sense on paper, right? The Chargers coaching staff was the primary issue, and just replacing Brandon Staley with a functioning brain puts them in the playoffs. It’s a big leap for a team with other glaring issues, mainly on defense. They will have an opportunity to make a splash in the first round but not with a quarterback, even if they traded back for more assets. There’s also the matter of Justin Herbert and how much Jim Harbaugh likes him. While the Chargers are asking big from Harbaugh to turn around their team, the latter has to stake his success on Herbert. Just because Herbert is the best quarterback of these NFL options shouldn’t correlate to an automatic signing of Harbaugh. In fact, it might be the major reason why Harbaugh walks away.

The job should allow or afford him the chance to choose a quarterback to grow the team or someone to take it over the top. While it looks great now, it’s a lot harder to move on from Herbert and get anything of fair value than simply bypassing a struggling rookie. No, despite the +125 chalk odds for the Chargers, it’s a pass here. Ultimately, Harbaugh will too.

The Raiders and Panthers are next up on the list. Let’s look at the biggest reasons why Harbaugh won’t go to either. First, the quarterback in Carolina is dreadful. Bryce Young is beyond just rough around the edges on tape, he jumps out as a struggling young talent unable to develop. The Panthers are also dealing with their own controversial owner who may not want to bring a bigger story like cheating on board. Maybe if they hired Harbaugh as a quasi general manager and head coach it would be enough, but between Young and the existing controversy, it feels like a bad fit.

Antonio Pierce did everything possible to establish an inside track to coach the Raiders. The team already moved on from an interim coach after making the playoffs, so hopefully they correct that mistake. Vegas is great to handle anyone’s baggage, but there’s a larger statement being made. Pierce was given an on the job interview and passed with flying colors, clearly establishing a new identity following his interim status. Harbaugh is a convicted — NCAA court — cheater who served a suspension. Replacing Pierce with Harbaugh further validates the need for a Rooney rule.

That leaves the Commanders and No Team Next Year — each at +700. The Washington Commanders have crossed sports to bring in a mega brain tank of power players to rework their image from scandal to success. Did we mention Jim Harbaugh is a cheater? The hiring of him in Washington would go directly against the moves made by new owner Josh Harris, almost lying about reshaping image. While that may work in other sectors of Washington, D.C., it won’t here for a fanbase desperate for something positive.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, there’s only one option left. The Ol’ Cheatin’ Winnin’ Harbaugh is going to take the year off. It makes the most sense, although I don’t think this is an easy decision either. Some places will be out of his hands, others will be too far off the reclamation path to touch. Here’s the biggest reason why stepping out a year makes the most sense — time heals all wounds but doesn’t forget the good stuff. — at least not in sports.

By taking a year and doing TV, Harbaugh remains in the public eye and slowly removes the “cheater” association, simply leaving National Champion. This is also just Not the Head Coach of an NFL Team, so he could theoretically return to school and the ticket still cashes. It’s the most realistic scenario coupled with the best odds at 7-1.

Best Bet: Jim Harbaugh Not the Head Coach of an NFL Team (+700 at DraftKings)

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