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Jim Harbaugh weighing contract offer from Michigan that includes no-NFL clause for 2024

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It has been nearly a decade since Jim Harbaugh coached in the NFL, yet he remains one of the more intriguing potential candidates in the upcoming head-coach hiring cycle.

As the current Michigan coach prepares his team for the College Football Playoff semifinal against Alabama on New Year's Day in the Rose Bowl, he is also weighing a hugely consequential decision.

Sources say Harbaugh, whose current deal runs through 2026, received an offer from Michigan for a 10-year, $125-million contract extension that would make him one of the highest-paid coaches in college football. Yet there is a caveat, and it's NFL-related.

If he signed the deal -- which he has not yet done -- Harbaugh would agree not to entertain or accept an NFL job for the 2024 season. The NFL clause would be one season only, but that's apparently been enough to drag out the process.

Michigan has also offered Harbaugh a far shorter deal worth about $11 million per year, sources say.

Harbaugh has sought out and entertained NFL interest the past several years, interviewing for the Vikings and Broncos jobs during the past two hiring cycles, respectively.

In announcing last year that he would be back in Ann Arbor, Harbaugh tweaked, well, everyone.

"People that think we've done a good job and are pleased with the job that we've done here at Michigan, they're going to be very happy to learn that we will be back enthusiastically coaching the Wolverines in 2023," Harbaugh said in December 2022. "And for those people that don't approve of the job we've done or would rather see somebody else coaching here, I think they'll be most likely disappointed to learn we'll be back coaching the Wolverines and in 2023."

When asked this season about his future, he has always pledged loyalty to his current job. But it's likely at least one NFL team is interested.

Recently, Michigan received its Notice of Allegations from the NCAA for alleged recruiting violations during the COVID-19 dead period and not cooperating with investigators. NFL sources have said the league likely won't be a safe harbor for Harbaugh, opening the door to Harbaugh, who also served a team-imposed three-game suspension this season, needing to serve some or all of any possible suspension he could face in college if he returns to the pros.

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