Not a viable long-term option
During Mike Zimmer’s tenure as the Vikings head coach, it was made pretty clear that the team’s ownership currently prefers continuity when it comes to Minnesota’s coaches and members of the front office.
Despite there being a couple of opportunities for an earlier exit, the Vikings gave Zimmer eight seasons to see if he could lead the team to a championship.
When it comes to Jim Harbaugh, no one would have been surprised if his time in Minnesota wound up only lasting a year or two. It’s even possible that the Vikings’ decision-makers feared that Harbaugh’s tenure could’ve turned into a quick disaster similar to how things went down this past NFL season with Urban Meyer and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Prior to getting hired at Michigan in 2015, none of Harbaugh’s three previous head-coaching gigs (49ers, Stanford University, University of San Diego) lasted for more than four years.
He’s also 58-years-old, so it’s hard to determine how much longer he even wants to continue his profession as a head coach.
Minnesota is not really in the position to hire a head coach that’s just going to be around for a few years before leaving to retire or take another opportunity. The Vikings are likely heading towards a ton of big changes and they need a head coach that they can count on to remain with the team for the entire process.