A rumor cropped up on Sunday evening PFT reporting the Jets were willing to make some Godfather-level offer to the Michigan coach in order to bring him out of the college ranks and to New York so he could work with Sam Darnold., with
The Jets swiftly shut that rumor down, with CEO/owner Christopher Johnson issuing a statement that Todd Bowles is still the team's coach and that "there is no truth" to the Harbaugh rumors.
Statement from Christopher Johnson, Chairman and CEO:— New York Jets (@nyjets) December 24, 2018
“Todd Bowles is our Head Coach. There is no truth to the report of our interest in Jim Harbaugh."
Before diving into the context of what this means moving forward for the Jets, can we just take a moment and reflect on how much better the Jets look at almost every turn when Christopher Johnson is in charge instead of Woody Johnson? It really is night and day how they handle their business.
Anyway, the Jets are in a weird spot. Bowles, in his fourth year as the Jets coach, is 24-39 with New York and heading for this third straight season with five wins or less regardless of what happens to the Jets against the Patriots in Week 17. You could make a case beating New England in Foxborough with the quarterback situations and what it would mean for the Patriots (likely losing homefield advantage, potentially snuffing out their dynasty, etc.).
Even so, bringing Bowles back is probably off the table at this point..
Denying interest in Harbaugh could mean the Jets really aren't interested. Or it could mean the Jets reached out to Harbaugh through back channels and found out he wasn't interested. Or maybe he is interested, but they want to respect Bowles until he wraps up the season.
It didn't stop the media from asking his opinion on a conference call Monday.
"I don't have one," Bowles told reporters, via the New York Post. "That's probably a question for the person that reported it."
Bowles also stated that he does "not talk about my job" when asked if he wanted to be back in 2018. It's probably irrelevant at this point. 15 wins in three years just won't cut it, especially for a defensive-minded coach trying to help a rookie quarterback grow. Darnold's looked very good the last several weeks, but, again, it's probably not enough.
It's not a matter of whether Bowles is replaced, it's about who replaces Bowles. According to the Jets, it won't be Jim Harbaugh.