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Jim Harbaugh eyes a potential NFL return

Mike Florio and Peter King discuss the state of the Falcons, Lions, Texans and Jaguars as they all search for new leadership this offseason.

Before becoming the head coach at Michigan, Jim Harbaugh’s career consisted of four years, and only four years, at each stop on the coaching trail.

Four years with the Raiders as an assistant. Four years at the University of San Diego as head coach. Four years at Stanford. Four years with the 49ers.

At Michigan, Harbaugh has lasted six years. There’s a growing belief that he won’t be back for a seventh season, perhaps choosing to walk away before they make him run. Per multiple sources, Harbaugh is believed to be eyeing a return to the NFL, as a head coach.

Another source said that teams are doing their homework on Harbaugh, who instantly took the 49ers to the NFC Championship and who nearly led the team to a Super Bowl win in his second season with the team.

While Harbaugh has lost plenty of luster during his tenure in Michigan, it’s impossible to forget his accomplishments with the 49ers. The fact that his brother, John, continues to be one of the most successful coaches in the NFL won’t hurt, either.

Yes, Jim is fiery and combative and demanding. Plenty of coaches are. The challenge becomes surrounding him with people who understand who he is and how he is, channeling his ways in a direction that produces positive results, and working to build a relationship that can be sustained notwithstanding his tendency over time to rub people the wrong way.

At least for four years.