After a swing and a miss on Nathaniel Hackett, Denver Broncos GM George Paton needs to knock the next coaching hire out of the park.

And for this offseason, Jim Harbaugh looks to be the home run hire.

Harbaugh and his Michigan Wolverines just lost to TCU in the Fiesta Bowl 51-45 yesterday, leading Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk to tweet a GIF saying, “Book It!”

Would Harbaugh want to leave Michigan, though?

At the school, he’s enjoyed a remarkable run, going 74-25 (75%). Although, his bowl game struggles have been noted, going 1-6 in the postseason including the biggest games in the College Football Playoff. Not only did his Wolverines lose yesterday to TCU, they lost in embarrassing fashion, 34-11 to Georgia in the Orange Bowl last year.

Maybe Harbaugh is reflecting and wondering if he can win at the highest of levels in the NCAA. Ultimately, Michigan and Harbaugh both want the ultimate prize, a National Championship. And even though his teams have been stellar, they can’t win in the College Football Playoff to get to the Championship.

Last year, after losing to Georgia, Harbaugh reportedly said he would take the Las Vegas Raiders job if he was offered, but wasn’t. He also interviewed twice for the Minnesota Vikings job but, again, wasn’t offered the position.

Now, Benjamin Allbright says the Broncos and George Paton will “take a swing” at Harbaugh this offseason.

Are the Broncos an attractive enough situation for Harbaugh?

Considering they were just purchased by the Walton – Penner group, Denver seems to have an overabundance of cash. That will help.

Plus, the Broncos franchise is one of the most storied in the NFL, with die-hard fans who will undoubtedly show up in full force if the team is actually competitive again one day.

On top of that, Denver’s current construction — at the hands of Paton — isn’t that far away from competing. The Broncos defense has been top-5 this year in multiple metrics, including their third-down defense which has been second-best in the league.

There are playmakers at basically every level on both the offense and defense. Dre’Mont Jones (though, they will likely lose him in free agency), Alex Singleton and Justin Simmons on defense, with Javonte Williams, Greg Dulcich and Jerry Jeudy on offense. And of course, Russell Wilson, who will be a work in progress.

Although, if Harbaugh doesn’t think he can help turn Wilson around, Denver won’t be stuck with the aging QB forever and they could actually even move on from him this offseason as our Zach Segars has highlighted for months. It does seem unlikely considering the massive dead cap hit the Broncos would take, but after 2023 is a more likely option to move on from Wilson per his contract.

Speaking of contracts, what about Harbaugh’s? He’s signed through 2026 with Michigan and leaving right now would mean a $3 million penalty he’d have to pay back to the school.

In a coaching career which spans two decades, Harbaugh has bounced back and forth from the NFL to the college ranks and back again multiple times. And he’s led a team to the Super Bowl, 10 years ago.

He was the Raiders offensive coordinator, then the San Diego Toreros head coach before becoming Stanford’s head coach from 2007-2010.

In 2011, Harbaugh became the San Francisco 49ers head coach and not only won NFL Coach of the Year his first season, but led the Niners to Super Bowl XLVII the next year. Two years later, in 2014, he was fired by San Francisco.

In 2015, he joined Michigan and has enjoyed an incredible run of success there, going to seven bowl games in eight years (save 2020), including a loss to Georgia in the Orange Bowl last year, and the Fiesta Bowl loss to TCU yesterday.

Considering he looked at coaching the Vikings last year, it seems Harbaugh is willing to jump back into the NFL. And possibly for the Denver Broncos.

Paton will certainly be calling him. And the team’s GM needs to make a hire who can lead the team as well as Russell Wilson.

If it’s not Harbaugh, who could Denver hire?

Dan Quinn seems to be option No. 2 for the Broncos, per Allbright and others. Other possibilities include DeMeco Ryans, Ken Dorsey and Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. Who the Broncos face this morning in Kansas City.

One thing seems certain, the Broncos won’t be under Jerry Rosburg after the next two weeks. Not only did Rosburg decide to fire special teams coordinator Dwayne Stukes and Butch Barry, but today the Broncos will play with Justin Outten calling the plays instead of Klint Kubiak.

Denver (4-11) faces Kansas City (12-3) today at 11 am MT.