Carolina Panthers Targeting Michigan Coach Harbaugh

Following a heartbreaking Week 17 30-24 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Carolina Panthers have already begun looking ahead to the 2023 season. According to Charlotte Sports Live's Will Kunkel, Panthers owner David Tepper has already spoken with Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh about the team's head coaching vacancy. The Panthers fired head coach Matt Rhule after a 1-4 start to the season, but they clawed their way back to relevance under interim head coach Steve Wilks, winning five of their next 10. They were in contention for the NFC South title until Sunday's narrow defeat to the Buccaneers. Now eliminated from playoff contention, the Panthers are searching for answers outside their organization.

Harbaugh is a hot coaching prospect who will likely have his choice of several suitors this offseason, assuming he's even interested in leaving Michigan. He previously led the 49ers on an exceptional four-year run that included a conference title and a 44-19 record. He left the NFL on his own terms to coach at his alma mater Michigan, where he has won 74 of 99 games but finished a disappointing 1-6 in bowl games.

Of the various coaching vacancies across the league, the Panthers are as appealing as anyone. They lack a clear answer at quarterback, but they could hypothetically land one either in the draft, or via trade, or even free agency. If Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady elects to leave the NFC South by retirement or free agency, the Panthers could also have a pretty clear path to divisional dominance. 

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