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Anne Erickson

Weekends

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

I realize that every year, people like to speculate about Jim Harbaugh leaving Michigan, from the fans to the so-called experts. So, what makes this year different?

  • To start

    Michigan has had an exceptional run this year. Harbaugh has been with the team for a long time, and he finally beat Ohio State and brought home a Big 10 championship. Leaving this year would pretty much being like going out on top.

  • Insider's take

    Unlike previous years, insiders across the web are saying their sources indicate Jim Harbaugh is actually considering a run for the NFL this year. In past years, the rumors died pretty quickly, but that’s not the case this year.

  • He's not getting younger

    If Jim Harbaugh wants to go back to the NFL, he might as well do it sooner rather than later. He’s not old, by any means, but not getting any younger, either.

  • Unfinished business

    Harbaugh left the NFL with some unfinished business. Now that he’s succeeded at the college level, he might be temped to go back and finished what he started.

  • It's a big year for new NFL coaches

    Experts are guessing anywhere from 5 to 7 head coaching positions will open up by next week as NFL teams announce changes to their rosters. That’s a lot of opportunities for Harbaugh.

  • He simply seems serious

    Insiders are also saying that this isn’t just Harbaugh wanting to negotiate a bigger contract with Michigan. He seems serious about looking to the NFL.

  • So, which team is temping Harbaugh to go pro?

    There’s a lot of buzz about the Raiders being the team Harbaugh would be interested in coaching, but all bets are pointing to the Bears. After four years, it appears Matt Nagy will be exiting.

  • Inside info from Bruce Feldman of The Athletic

    According to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, Harbaugh is starting to think that there has never been a better time, or chance, to land his dream job than now with the Bears. On the Rich Eisen show, he also said the interest is mutual between both Harbaugh and the Bears.

  • Why the Bears?

    According to Feldman, the Bears entice Harbaugh for many reasons. He has a history with the team’s owners and the team. The team already has a solid quarterback. Also, the timing might be very good, coming off a great year with Michigan.