HomeFootball DirtJim Harbaugh Interviewed for Falcons' Head Coach Position

Jim Harbaugh Interviewed for Falcons’ Head Coach Position

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After meeting with Bill Belichick yesterday regarding their head coaching vacancy, the Falcons have added another major name to the list of candidates. The team announced that they’ve completed an interview with Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh.

[RELATED: Latest On Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan Negotiations]

Similar to Belichick, Harbaugh was rumored to be a potential head coaching candidate in Atlanta. While these two major names navigated the early portion of the head coaching cycle, the Falcons seemingly operated as if neither would be available, with the team requesting interviews with 10 other candidates. Now, owner Arthur Blank has met with the two biggest names on the market.

Since parting ways with the 49ers after the 2014 campaign, Harbaugh has guided Michigan to an 86-25 record, including a 37-3 mark over the past three years. His efforts culminated in a National Championship win last week, and that performance put him firmly back on the NFL head coaching map. Harbaugh has already interviewed for the Chargers job, and he’s been a rumored candidate in both Las Vegas and Washington.

While the NFL interest is heating up, there’s also been rumors that Harbaugh could ultimately land back in Michigan. We heard earlier today that the coach continues to discuss a new contract with the school, one that could include a clause that would prevent Michigan from firing him as a result of any NCAA sanctions brought about by the ongoing investigations.

On the flip side, some of Harbaugh’s negotiation tactics have also pointed to an NFL return. At the moment, a suitor would need to pay a buyout of $1.5MM to hire Harbaugh away from Michigan. The school has been pushing to raise that number to $4MM, and while Harbaugh hasn’t necessarily denied that notion, he reportedly wants to push back the deadline that hiring fee to February 15, well after this year’s NFL coaching hires have been made.

Harbaugh would certainly make sense for a Falcons organization that’s desperate for a Super Bowl win. The organization has recently opted for first-time head coaches (a grouping that includes Jim Mora Jr., Bobby Petrino, Mike Smith, Dan Quinn, Arthur Smith), leading many to believe that Blank was seeking a more experienced voice. With more than 20 years of coaching experience, Harbaugh would certainly fit the bill.

There are now 12 definitive candidates for the Falcons head coaching vacancy, a grouping that includes:

  • Bill Belichick, former head coach (Patriots): Interviewed 1/15
  • Brian Callahan, offensive coordinator (Bengals): Interviewed 1/13
  • Ejiro Evero, defensive coordinator (Panthers): Interviewed 1/14
  • Aaron Glenn, defensive coordinator (Lions): Interview requested
  • Ben Johnson, offensive coordinator (Lions): Interview requested
  • Mike Macdonald, defensive coordinator (Ravens): Interviewed 1/12
  • Raheem Morris, defensive coordinator (Rams): Interview requested
  • Antonio Pierce, interim head coach (Raiders): Interview requested
  • Bobby Slowik, offensive coordinator (Texans): Interview requested
  • Anthony Weaver, defensive line coach (Ravens): Interviewed 1/14
  • Steve Wilks, defensive coordinator (49ers): Interviewed 1/13

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