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Jim Harbaugh 'legitimately interested' in NFL return, per report

If he hasn't already, Warde Manuel should start planning for a possibly imminent coaching search.

It remains to be seen whether or not Jim Harbaugh lands the Minnesota Vikings head coaching job, but we know he wants it.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported Monday that the Vikings came away feeling Harbaugh "conveyed legitimate interest" and that he's "ready for a return" to the professional game.

In the past, Harbaugh has linked to jobs in which he has a specific connection, like Chicago (where he used to play) and Las Vegas (for whom he used to coach.)

Harbaugh has a personal connection to Miami, owned by Michigan super-donor Stephen Ross. Ross said three weeks ago that he would not be the owner that pulled Harbaugh out of Ann Arbor, but that stance has reportedly softened a bit.

But the Minnesota news shows Harbaugh is not interested in the job, he just wants a job.

Like any other coach, Harbaugh would only take a job where he thinks he could succeed, at an organization receptive to his ideas and his particular method of culture building. But it doesn't have to be at a place where he's played or coached before, which opens the field dramatically. Fowler's report shows Harbaugh isn't interviewing to keep his options open for a possible return at some point in the future, to leverage Michigan for a better deal, or any other speculated reason. It means Harbaugh wants to coach in the NFL in 2022.  

And with a 44-19-1 career record, fresh off a season that proved he self-scout and diagnose his team's problems and turn them around quickly in following up his worst season at Michigan with his best, Harbaugh is automatically the most qualified and accomplished coach in any team's candidate pool.

Which means, if he hasn't already, it's time for Warde Manuel to start seriously preparing for a possibly imminent coaching search.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.