Joel Klatt on Wolverines' uncertain future: 'Michigan is not going to fire Jim Harbaugh'
FOX college football analyst Joel Klatt believes it’s still possible Jim Harbaugh remains with Michigan and signs an extension this offseason.
Speaking with Colin Cowherd on Wednesday, Klatt said the “ball is in his court” regarding an extension to stay in Ann Arbor. As of now, Harbaugh has just one year remaining on his original seven-year contract.
“Michigan is not going to fire Jim Harbaugh so the only way they part ways is if it’s amicable and Jim has a landing spot in the NFL,” Klatt said on The Herd. “This is true, there are ongoing extension talks with Michigan and Jim Harbaugh.”
Klatt did say that Michigan is looking to lessen Harbaugh’s salary, which is currently north of $8 million. Per Klatt, the Wolverines are looking to extend Harbaugh with an incentive-laden contract.
“What I’m told from sources, they are not very close on the money, Michigan wants to take him way down on the base salary and make it an incentive based contract,” Klatt said.
Doing a deal based on incentives might make more sense for Michigan. Harbaugh has produced decent — although not elite — results at Michigan prior to this season.
In his previous five seasons in Ann Arbor, Harbaugh won at least eight games in every year and 10 games in three different seasons. His biggest failure is never defeating Ohio State, which is a fair criticism from Michigan fans.
However, this season has taken a turn for the worse. Michigan is just 2-4 with wins over a COVID-weakened Minnesota team in Week 1 and against Rutgers in triple over time last month.