Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh's college football program is being investigated for sign-stealing.

Back in black? Jim Harbaugh favorite to be Raiders’ next coach

With speculation already rampant that Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh might return to the NFL next year, there already is at least one vacancy.

The Las Vegas Raiders fired Josh McDaniels late on Halloween night, ending a disastrous 25-game stint a day after the team lost 26-14 at Detroit in front of a Monday Night Football audience.

Harbaugh was installed as the +500 favorite by SportsBetting.ag to be the Raiders’ next head coach. Ironically, the next shortest odds belong to Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson at +700.

Next Raiders Head Coach Odds
Jim Harbaugh (+500)
Ben Johnson (+700)
Frank Smith (+800)
Dan Quinn (+900)
Jim Schwartz (+900)
Kellen Moore (+1000)
Antonio Pierce (+1200)
Brian Flores (+1200)
Brian Johnson (+1200)
Ejiro Evero (+1200)
Ken Dorsey (+1200)
Mike Macdonald (+1200)
Raheem Morris (+1200)
Rich Bisaccia (+1200)
Eric Bieniemy (+1400)
Jerod Mayo (+1400)
Lincoln Riley (+1400)
Shane Waldron (+1400)
Lou Anarumo (+1600)
Bill Belichick (+3300)
Charles Woodson (+5000)
Deion Sanders (+5000)
Jon Gruden (+10000)

Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines currently are being investigated for potential sign-stealing violations. Should Harbaugh be suspended for any length of time by the NCAA, the NFL may impose the same length ban if he returns to the league, according to an NFL.com report over the weekend.

The Wolverines currently are undefeated and were ranked third in the first College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday night. Harbaugh also denied reports that Michigan has pulled a contract extension offer that would have made him the highest paid coach in the Big Ten.

Speculation still is rampant that Harbaugh, who will turn 60 on Dec. 23, would be interested in returning to an NFL sideline in 2024. He took over Michigan in 2015 following a four-year stint as the San Francisco 49ers’ head coach.

Harbaugh began his coaching career with the Raiders, serving as the quarterbacks coach under Bill Callahan from 2002-03 before landing his first head coaching job at the University of San Diego in 2004.

Johnson, meanwhile, is in his second season as the Lions’ offensive coordinator and is expected to draw wide interest for coaching vacancies this offseason.

Similarly, Frank Smith (+800), is in his second season as the Miami Dolphins’ offensive coordinator. He served as the Raiders’ tight ends coach from 2018-2020 before spending a year on the Chargers’ staff.

All three could be coveted by multiple teams this offseason. While McDaniels was the first coach to be fired – he didn’t even make it to the halfway point of the season – several others remain on the proverbial hot seat.

The book is also offering odds on the next NFL coach to be fired, with the Washington Commanders’ Ron Rivera moving to the front at +150.

Next NFL Coach Fired
Ron Rivera, Commanders (+150)
Matt Eberflus, Bears (+200)
Matt Lafleur, Packers (+600)
Brandon Staley, Chargers (+1100)
Todd Bowles, Buccaneers (+1200)
Kevin O’Connell, Vikings (+1400)
Mike Vrabel, Titans (+1600)
Dennis Allen, Saints (+2800)
Kevin Stefanski, Browns (+2800)
Bill Belichick, Patriots (+3300)

(Odds provided for entertainment purposes only. SportsBetting.ag is not a regulated sportsbook in the United States.)

–Field Level Media

Oct 22, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Chicago Bears defensive back Jaylon Johnson (33) steps in front of Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams (17) to intercept a pass before returning the ball for a touchdown in the fourth quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Bears CB Jaylon Johnson permitted to seek trade

Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles granted cornerback Jaylon Johnson permission to seek a new team at the trade deadline on Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

There are few doubts Poles is willing to unload Johnson, who is playing at a high level in a contract year but hasn’t been able to reach an agreement with the Bears on a contract extension.

Johnson, 24, said last week he was hopeful a deal would be struck with the Bears but described talks with the team as “slower than expected.”

Poles moved multiple defensive starters at the 2022 deadline, including linebacker Roquan Smith and defensive end Robert Quinn, and traded the No. 1 pick in the 2022 draft to the Carolina Panthers.

“At the end of the day, it goes back to respect as well,” Johnson said last week. “You can throw some numbers at someone and hope they take anything. That’s not what I’m looking to do. I’m looking for respect and security.”

But negotiations ceased without a contract agreement, and signs point to Johnson being shipped out of Chicago on Tuesday by the 4 p.m. deadline.

Johnson is tied as the third-ranked cornerback in Pro Football Focus rankings this season. He has two interceptions.

A second-round draft pick in 2020, Johnson is considered a target of the San Francisco 49ers and general manager John Lynch. Lynch said this week the 49ers would be targeting coverage help.

–Field Level Media

Oct 1, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson (65) against the Washington Commanders at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles RT Lane Johnson injures ankle, exits in first quarter

Eagles All-Pro right tackle Lane Johnson limped to the locker room in the first quarter and was replaced in the lineup by Jack Driscoll. Philadelphia announced he was questionable to return with an ankle injury.

Johnson was slow to get to his feet following a scrum at the line of scrimmage as Philadelphia moved the ball against the host New York Jets on Sunday.

He was engaged with Jets defensive end John Franklin-Myers as D’Andre Swift was tackled into Johnson’s lower legs.

Johnson, 33, returned in training camp from offseason surgery to repair an adductor muscle tear, the injury he played through last postseason, and hasn’t allowed a sack since 2020.

Sunday marked his 132nd career regular-season start. He last played a full regular season in 2015, when he started all 16 games.

He signed a one-year extension worth a reported $33.45 million in the offseason.

–Field Level Media

Sep 23, 2023; College Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Conner Weigman (15) reacts after getting hit during the second quarter against the Auburn Tigers at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Texas A&M QB Conner Weigman (foot) out for season

Texas A&M quarterback Conner Weigman will miss the remainder of the season with a foot injury, multiple outlets reported Wednesday.

The Aggies (3-1, 1-0 SEC) will roll with Max Johnson under center for Saturday’s showdown against Arkansas (2-2, 0-1) in Arlington, Texas.

Weigman left late in the first half of Texas A&M’s 27-10 victory against Auburn on Saturday with what was thought to be an ankle injury. Further tests revealed “a small fracture in his foot,” per the Houston Chronicle.

Weigman completed 68.9 percent of his passes for 979 yards with eight touchdowns and two interceptions through four games this season. The 6-foot-3 sophomore also rushed for 63 yards and two scores.

Johnson, who transferred from LSU last season, threw for 123 yards and two second-half touchdowns after coming in to replace Weigman against Auburn.

A 6-foot-6 redshirt sophomore, Johnson started 14 games for LSU from 2020-21 and made three starts for Texas A&M last season. He has completed 60.2 percent of his passes for 4,627 yards with 42 touchdowns and just seven interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Sep 9, 2023; Waco, Texas, USA; Utah Utes quarterback Nate Johnson (13) carries the ball for a 11-yard touchdown against the Baylor Bears during the second half at McLane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

Utah QB Nate Johnson to start if Cam Rising can’t go

Freshman quarterback Nate Johnson will start for No. 12 Utah against visiting Weber State this Saturday if Cam Rising remains sidelined.

Head coach Kyle Whittingham confirmed his plan Monday for the Utes (2-0), who are coming off victories against Florida and Baylor.

Johnson was instrumental to Utah’s success Saturday at Baylor, rescuing a struggling offense with two late drives to clinch a 20-13 win in Waco, Texas.

“Based on the whole body of work we’ve seen, we feel Nate is deserving of the shot and he’ll be the starter if Cam’s not available,” Whittingham said.

Johnson rallied Utah with a rushing touchdown to tie the game and a late TD drive to secure the victory.

“We really couldn’t get anything going so to speak offensively until the last stages of the game,” Whittingham said.

“That spark occurred in the last two minutes, well, actually before that, about 11 minutes to go in the game we took over, made the decision to put Nate Johnson in and give him the opportunity to show what he can do, you know, without any limitations the entire drive and he did a great job.”

Johnson hit 6 of 7 passes for 82 yards and rushed 11 times for 32 yards. Starter Bryson Barnes finished 6-of-19 passing for 71 yards with one interception.

“He was very poised on that last drive,” Whittingham said of Johnson. “I mean he made some outstanding decisions and made some great plays in that fourth quarter.”

Whittingham said Rising, who injured his knee in January’s Rose Bowl, is practicing without limitations but has not been cleared.

Utah opens its Pac-12 schedule on Sept. 23 at home against No. 24 UCLA.

–Field Level Media

Jul 28, 2021; Englewood, CO, United States; Denver Broncos inside linebacker Alexander Johnson (45) during training camp at UCHealth Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Dolphins sign veteran LB A.J. Johnson

The Miami Dolphins added veteran linebacker A.J. Johnson to the roster on Thursday.

The team also waived linebacker Mike Rose and waived/injured safety Myles Dorn.

Johnson, 31, appeared in one game with the Seattle Seahawks in 2022 after four seasons with the Denver Broncos.

He has posted 252 tackles, 4.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and one interception in 39 games (34 starts).

–Field Level Media

(File photo) Following two seasons with the Cleveland Browns, safety John Johnson III agreed to rejoin the Los Angeles Rams. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Rams to bring back S John Johnson III

Safety John Johnson III agreed to a one-year deal to return to the Los Angeles Rams after two seasons with the Cleveland Browns.

Johnson signed a $33.75 million deal with the Browns in 2021 and had 162 tackles with four interceptions in two seasons in Cleveland.

Terms of the deal with the Rams weren’t immediately available.

His base salary with Cleveland was scheduled to more than double from 2022 to ’23, from $4 million to $8.75 million, and he was released in February in a cost-cutting move.

A third-round pick of the Rams in 2017, Johnson had two of his three career 100-tackle seasons with Los Angeles.

Johnson started all 17 games in 2022 with 101 tackles, two forced fumbles and an interception.

–Field Level Media

Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson answers questions at the Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix during the NFL's Super Bowl Opening Night on Feb. 6, 2023.

Nfl Super Bowl Opening Night At Footprint Center

Reports: Eagles sign RT Lane Johnson to $33.4M extension

Philadelphia Eagles All-Pro right tackle Lane Johnson signed a one-year contract extension worth $33.4 million, of which $30 million is guaranteed, per multiple reports Friday.

The extension stretches Johnson’s contract by one year through the 2026 season and brings the Eagles’ total potential financial commitment remaining to him to $80.75 million over four seasons.

The deal comes after Johnson, 32, delayed surgery and played in the postseason despite a torn abdominal tendon. As head coach Nick Sirianni phrased it, Johnson continued to play like the “best tackle on the planet.”

“He’s a warrior,” quarterback Jalen Hurts said of Johnson. “He’s a true warrior and a very important piece of this team. He’s been doing great things for a very long time, and I’m very grateful to have him. We’re grateful to have him and I’m happy that he’s kind of coming out of this thing clean.”

Though Johnson missed two games before returning to face the New York Giants in the postseason in January, nobody was questioning his toughness.

“It’s kind of how I was raised,” Johnson said before Super Bowl LVII. “My dad was a bull rider back in the day, so guys had torn groins, collapsed lungs. That was kind of their culture, so I grew up around that kind of stuff.”

Johnson has been vulnerable and transparent about football-related anxiety and briefly stepped away from the team in 2021. But Johnson said in February he was very much committed to playing in Philadelphia as center Jason Kelce weighed the decision to play a 13th season in 2023.

Johnson has started 127 career games with the Eagles since being selected as the No. 4 pick in the 2013 draft. He is a four-time Pro Bowl and two-time first-team All-Pro selection. He has not allowed a sack since Week 11 of 2020.

–Field Level Media

Oct 30, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans tight end O.J. Howard (83) runs with the ball as Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Teair Tart (93) attempts to make a tackle during the first quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders sign TE O.J. Howard, DL Jordan Willis

The Las Vegas Raiders announced deals Monday with tight end O.J. Howard and defensive lineman Jordan Willis.

The team also reached an agreement with safety Jaquan Johnson, according to multiple reports.

Howard ostensibly becomes the heir apparent to Darren Waller, whom the Raiders traded to the New York Giants earlier this month.

Howard, 28, a former first-round draft pick, caught 10 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns in 13 games (10 starts) for the Houston Texans in 2022.

He has 129 catches and 1,882 yards receiving to go with 17 TDs in 72 career games (56 starts) with the Texans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2017-21), who selected him No. 19 overall in the 2017 draft.

Willis, 27, was a third-round pick by Cincinnati in 2017 and has 92 tackles and 10.5 sacks in 69 games (two starts) for the Bengals (2017-18), New York Jets (2019-20) and San Francisco 49ers (2020-22).

Johnson, 27, was picked in the sixth round by Buffalo in 2019. He registered 58 tackles and two interceptions in 60 games (four starts) over four seasons with the Bills.

–Field Level Media

Jan 8, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Connor Heyward (83) makes a catch against Cleveland Browns cornerback A.J. Green (rear) and safety John Johnson III (43) during the fourth quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Pittsburgh won 28-14. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Browns to release S John Johnson III

Browns safety John Johnson III will be released by Cleveland before the final year of his three-year contract, per reports.

Johnson signed a $33.75 million deal with the Browns in 2021 and had 162 tackles with four interceptions in his first two seasons in Cleveland.

His base salary was scheduled to more than double from 2022 to ’23, from $4 million to $8.75 million.

The 27-year-old was a third-round pick of the Los Angeles Rams in 2017 and had two of his three career 100-tackle seasons with his original NFL team.

The Browns anticipate a shift in personnel to accommodate the style of play preferred by new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

Johnson started all 17 games last season with 101 tackles, two forced fumbles and an interception.

–Field Level Media