The Minnesota Vikings continue to search for their new head coach. Former Cleveland Browns vice president of football operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was appointed as Minnesota's next general manager last week and will now help lead and finalize a search that has identified several intriguing candidates as potential contenders including Rams offensive and defensive coordinators Kevin O'Connell and Raheem Morris, 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham among others. The most intriguing candidate however may be current Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, who reportedly conveyed a significant amount of interest in Minnesota's vacancy while interviewing for the role. Should the Vikings offer Harbaugh their head coaching position, and they probably should, given his proven track record and pedigree, Harbaugh would be wise to depart the Wolverines in favor of a return to the National Football League for various reasons. Harbaugh led Michigan to an excellent, record-breaking campaign in 2021. Harbaugh clinched his first career victory over Michigan's forever rival Ohio State en route to the program's first Big Ten Championship since 2004, the first in the Harbaugh era. Michigan's triumph over Iowa earned them a spot in the four-team playoff for the first time under the current four-team format. There's little left for Harbaugh to realistically achieve at Michigan, who currently lack the recruiting chops to actually contend with the likes of Alabama and Georgia for a National Championship. The time for Harbaugh to make a triumphant return to the NFL is now. Teaming Harbaugh up with the analytically-driven Adofo-Mensah would qualify as an excellent pairing to usher in a new era of Vikings football. Adofo-Mensah furthered his education by attending two prestigious institutions in Princeton and Stanford before entering the NFL as the 49ers' manager of football research and development, where he actually crossed paths with Harbaugh's largely successful tenure as San Francisco's head coach. Minnesota’s new general manager possesses one of the more brilliant young minds in all of football. Outside of the obvious connections to Adofo-Mensah and welcoming a return to the NFL, Harbaugh would take charge of a Vikings roster that is blossoming with offensive talent. The future of the quarterback position may hang in the balance, but the presences of Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook, and Adam Thielen make Minnesota an intriguing destination. Paired with the potential offseason departure of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the Vikings could quickly find themselves as the favorites to capture the NFC North's division title under Harbaugh’s guidance. Harbaugh was extremely successful with the 49ers, having captured Coach of the Year honors in 2011 after leading his 49ers to an unexpected 13-3 record in his debut season. The following campaign was somehow even more of a resounding success, as the 49ers qualified for Super Bowl XLVII, ultimately losing a thriller to Harbaugh's brother, the John Harbaugh-led Baltimore Ravens. Philosophical differences with at-the-time general manager Trent Baalke led to Harbaugh's untimely departure following the 2014 season, and Harbaugh immediately returned to the collegiate ranks. Harbaugh is an excellent coach that holds an impressive all-time NFL record of 49-22-1 (68.8% winning percentage). The Vikings literally couldn't ask for any better.
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