It’s time for Jim Harbaugh to poop or get off the pot.

Unless the culprit is Michigan AD Warde Manuel. Or Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis.

Regardless of which of these individuals or combination thereof is currently clogging the pipes, Michigan no longer has the time to wait this one out. After weeks of rumors about his interest in returning to the NFL, Harbaugh needs to decide if he wants to coach the Wolverines or the Raiders. Because Mike Macdonald just forced his hand.

Macdonald is returning to John Harbaugh’s Baltimore Ravens staff as defensive coordinator after serving in that role this season for Michigan. It was Macdonald’s first time running a defense, and it went smashingly. The Wolverines won the Big Ten and Aidan Hutchinson played his way onto the Heisman stage. Fellow pass rusher David Ojabo will join Hutchinson as a first-round NFL draft pick.

Needless to say, replacing Macdonald looms as a very important decision for Michigan’s head coach. Which means Michigan needs to know who its head coach is.

It would also help to know exactly who it is we’re waiting on right now.

How the Raiders are gumming up the works

Without question, weird-haired Raiders owner Mark Davis has likely had his sights on Harbaugh from the moment he was forced to make Jon Gruden walk the plank midseason.

Harbaugh’s first NFL coaching stint was as the Raiders’ quarterbacks coach from 2002-03, and he endeared himself to franchise patriarch Al Davis in the process. Such was the magic of turning career journeyman Rich Gannon into the NFL MVP.

What Davis probably wasn’t counting on was for his team to actually make the playoffs. Las Vegas was 3-2 when Gruden resigned and interim coach Rich Biasaccia took over. Biasaccia rallied the Raiders for a 7-5 finish to the season, which resulted in the team’s second playoff berth since the 2002 Super Bowl.

That scenario makes Biasaccia pretty difficult to fire. So too does the fact Biasaccia handwrote every player on the team a thank-you note following its playoff loss to Cincinnati. The guy has endeared himself to the locker room, the Raiders fan base and the media.

Despite all that, the interim tag still looms over Biasaccia’s head. Davis fired general manager Mike Mayock, and Mayock’s replacement will likely decide Biasaccia’s future.

That replacement could well be Harbaugh, who would then wield Belichick-like powers as GM and coach. It was his unpleasant relationship with former 49ers GM Trent Baalke that factored into Harbaugh’s return to his alma mater, and such an arrangement would eliminate front-office friction.

But as of yet, the Raiders have not interviewed Harbaugh for that opening. Indeed, Harbaugh hasn’t formally interviewed for any NFL openings, and those positions are starting to fill rapidly.

So what the heck is the hold-up here?

Is Harbaugh holding out for a new deal?

When Harbaugh was an NFL player, contract holdouts were a fairly common practice for veterans in training camp.

In fact, the tactic was used by none other than Jim Harbaugh himself. In 1991, he held out from the start of Bears training camp while his agent negotiated a contract more befitting a starting quarterback.

There is no such thing as a contract holdout in the world of college coaching. Not formally, at least. But it is certainly beginning to look like that’s what might be happening here. Otherwise we already would have seen Harbaugh declare loud and clear across social media to ignore the rumors — he’s head coach of the Michigan Wolverines for years to come.

In order to keep his job coaching the Wolverines last year, Harbaugh took a pay cut from $8 million to $4 million per year. For both sides, the agreement beat the alternative — unemployment for Harbaugh, and a coaching search for Michigan.

A year later, the landscape has changed in drastic fashion.

Harbaugh led Michigan to its first win over Ohio State since 20011 and its first Big Ten championship since 2004. The Wolverines reached the College Football Playoff for the first time.

Meanwhile, a pair of fellow Big Ten coaches who haven’t even sniffed those accomplishments received significant contract extensions. Penn State’s James Franklin has a new 10-year deal worth $70 million. “Little brother” Michigan State is flexing on Michigan financially, extending second-year coach Mel Tucker for 10 more years at a whopping $95 million.

Perhaps the ball is resting in the court of Manuel, the Michigan AD.

Though renegotiating a contract for the second straight offseason can’t be anybody’s idea of fun, it might be necessary. Even if the Raiders take a pass on Harbaugh in this cycle, nothing is preventing him from being at the forefront of the next NFL silly season if he doesn’t have a new deal in hand.

At any rate, the time has come for the Harbaugh rumor mill to reach its resolution. Michigan needs someone ready to make decisions for the future of Michigan football — now.