Michigan will reportedly keep Jim Harbaugh – if he accepts pay cut

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By 97.1 The Ticket

Michigan wants to keep Jim Harbaugh, but on its own terms.

With Harbaugh's contract set to expire after next season, Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel has discussed a new deal with the head football coach that would feature a lower salary and a lower buyout, according to John U. Bacon.

The deal would also include large performance incentives and the resources for Harbaugh to hire top assistants.

"Harbaugh can now accept, negotiate, or decline," Bacon reports.

Bacon adds that 'at least five NFL teams have expressed interest' in hiring Harbaugh, should he chose to leave Michigan. It was reported last week that Harbaugh is eyeing a return to the NFL.

Harbaugh, 56, was set to make $8 million this season before taking a COVID-19 pay cut, the fourth-highest salary in college football behind Alabama's Nick Saban, LSU's Ed Orgeron and Clemson's Dabo Swinney.

Saban, Orgeron and Swinney have all led their teams to a national championship in the last three years. Harbaugh has yet to take Michigan any higher than third in the Big Ten East through six seasons, and this season the Wolverines are 2-4.

Should Michigan opt to move on from Harbaugh after this season, it would cost about $6.5 million to buy out the remainder of his contract, according to the Free Press, and more than $10 million to dismiss the entire coaching staff.