The Las Vegas Raiders head into the offseason with an intriguing decision to make as it pertains to their head signal caller. After firing Josh McDaniels midway through the 2023 season, Antonio Pierce was named the interim head coach and proceeded to do a serviceable job while drumming up plenty of internal support.
However, like the last time the Raiders got an admirable performance from an interim head coach, they are going to do their due diligence to ensure they bring in the best candidate. And on this list of desired candidates is, reportedly, Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Harbaugh has long been tied to NFL head coach openings, but always opted to stay with Michigan in their pursuit of a national championship. Now that he has achieved that goal with the Wolverines — defeating the Washington Huskies on Monday night for the title — it appears Harbaugh might be more ready than ever to take the leap.
At the very least, Harbaugh is going to entertain interviews and offers, something he hadn’t done in years past. And when he does, he and the Raiders are expected to have mutual interest, according to Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report:
I’m told Harbaugh wants to return to the NFL, and has “a lot of interest” in the #Chargers’ vacancy as well.
There is a slew of internal support for Antonio Pierce… pic.twitter.com/PT074hSTZZ
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) January 8, 2024
This report includes several interesting pieces of rumored information. The first is, of course, the mutual interest between Harbaugh and the Raiders. While it’s rare for college cornerstones to make waves in the NFL, if that reported interest is true, it may be a hard opportunity for the Raiders to pass up.
But Harbaugh reportedly also has interest in another AFC West opening in the L.A. Chargers. Perhaps having a franchise QB already in-house makes it a more appealing destination, or Harbaugh might prefer the clean slate offered by the Raiders.
Finally, it appears that Harbaugh’s interest has not eliminated Pierce from contention, given that he still has plenty of internal support. And all of those details are what will make the coming months a fascinating watch out of Las Vegas.
Mark Davis commends Pierce
Raiders owner Mark Davis had kind words for Pierce and the job he did stepping in as the interim head coach. However, he is not showing his hand in the head coaching interview process.
“Yeah, I think the team really played well down the stretch, and I think going 4-2 in the division is really a positive for us,” Davis said. “Obviously, that’s what we have to take care of first is the division. And we went into Kansas City, in a tough game, and beat them [20-14 on Christmas Day], and we took care of Denver here at home to end the season.”