Following Adam Schefter's report last night that the "pendulum" has seemingly swung a bit back towards Michigan, I made some calls today.
NFL sources tell me that the 49ers have told Michigan that if they reach a deal with Jim to become their next head coach, that the 49ers will release him from his contract and seek no compensation. Why? Well, per sources, if Jim isn't going to be the Niners head coach next season, the 49ers front office would prefer to have him in the college ranks to avoid having to deal with...
If Jim decides he wants to remain in the league, NFL sources tell us the most likely landing spot is the Raiders. Problem is, the 49ers organization is less than excited about the possibility that their head coach could be coaching across the bay next season. Per sources, if Jim were able to get the Raiders to the top, some within the 49ers organization would look very foolish for allowing this to happen while he was under contract.
So, what are the Niners thinking? Per NFL sources, if Jim chooses to remain in the league, the Niners plan to ask for "a King's ransom" and aren't all that confident the Raiders would meet such demands. If this were to play out, this could make for a serious game of career poker. Who blinks first? If the Niners terminate his contract, he goes wherever he wants with no further compensation due to the Niners. That option seems unlikely; but sources tell us you can't rule out any of these possibilities at this time.
Multiple college sources tell us that if Harbaugh winds up choosing to go to Michigan, Florida defensive coordinator DJ Durkin is likely to join him; if not, perhaps Texas A&M is where Durkin will wind up; but that remains to be seen.
We expect this all to play out next week. As always we'll keep you posted on The Scoop.