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Hot seat roundup: Harbaugh closing in on Michigan

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Signs continue to point toward Jim Harbaugh accepting a six-year, $48 million offer in the coming days to become the next head coach at the University of Michigan.

Two members of Harbaugh’s staff with the San Francisco 49ers and another NFL source told Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole that Harbaugh is set to return to his alma mater as coach, and NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that university officials are planning to meet with Harbaugh sometime after the 49ers’ finale against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

“That’s what everybody on staff believes is going to happen this week,” one of the sources told Cole. “Jim has figured out that his style is best-suited for the college game. His shtick works better with young guys who are gone after three or four years.”

While Harbaugh might listen to pitches from the Oakland Raiders or other NFL teams, a contingent from the university reportedly is in the Bay Area this weekend to talk to Harbaugh, whose tenure in San Francisco is expected to end with a year left on his contract. Harbaugh did not discuss his job status when asked by local media Friday.

Before leading the 49ers to three NFC title games in his first three seasons, Harbaugh was a successful coach at San Diego State and Stanford.

According to Cole’s sources, Harbaugh was leaning against a return to college but has changed his mind because he is not enamored with the NFL options, which potentially include the Raiders and New York Jets.

Harbaugh is expected to bring 49ers assistants with him to Michigan, including Reggie Davis and John Morton, sources told Cole.

The Wolverines fired Brady Hoke at the end of this season, which saw Michigan compile a 5-7 record and miss playing in a bowl game.

–Rex Ryan is expected to coach his final game for the New York Jets on Sunday, and reportedly began removing items from his office last week. The team is also searching for a general manager with a stronger personnel background than current GM John Idzik, a financial specialist who is expected to be fired as well.

–Members of the Atlanta Falcons’ coaching staff believe head coach Mike Smith’s job won’t be completely safe even if the team beats the Carolina Panthers on Sunday to win the NFC South, according to Rapoport.

According to the report, Smith’s assistants believe he will be fired if the Falcons lose and finish at 6-10, and that even a victory won’t necessarily ensure he returns in 2015. Smith is 66-56 as the Falcons’ head coach, but the team is 10-21 over the past two seasons while dealing with a constant string of injuries.

–Coach Marc Trestman and his staff have not been informed of their fate following Sunday’s finale against the Minnesota Vikings, although ESPN reported at least three coaches fear the staff will be let go.

–New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin is expected to return for the 2015 season with several emerging young players helping the team show progress over the final half of this season.


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