Earlier today, our own Ben Levine put together a few notes on Jim Harbaugh’s future, whether it be in the NFL or going back to coach in college. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com takes an interesting look at the timeline involved with Harbaugh’s decision in a series of tweets.
Although the University of Michigan would like an answer sooner rather than later, Harbaugh will wait until his season is over before entertaining future options. He will meet with key members of the organization after he meets with the players once the season is over, which will likely be next Monday or Tuesday (via Twitter).
We already know from a number of reports that Harbaugh is conflicted about whether he should pursue another NFL job or go to Michigan. The reports are that his heart is in NFL, but Rapoport writes that he is surprised by how hard his alma mater is pursuing him (via Twitter).
Although the reports are out there on Michigan’s interest in their former quarterback, Rapoport also notes that Harbaugh has yet to speak directly with the university. He has not had any face-to-face meetings with Michigan officials, and all contact so far has come through intermediaries (via Twitter).
When he does meet with the 49ers’ officials on next Monday or Tuesday, as Rapoport predicts, he will likely tell the team what he has decided. At that time, he will let them know whether he has decided to leave for Michigan, or whether they should explore a trade with another NFL team (via Twitter). He believes Harbaugh already has a good idea of which NFL teams would be interested in acquiring his services (via Twitter).
Assuming Harbaugh leaves, Rapoport believes that the 49ers’ top in-house candidate would be defensive line coach Jim Tomsula (via Twitter). He also notes that head coaching candidates outside the organization would include top offensive assistants Adam Gase of the Broncos and Josh McDaniels of the Patriots.