All signs are pointing to Jim Harbaugh being the next coach of the LA Chargers and that has been the case for weeks. Harbaugh met with the team for a second time on Tuesday and the two sides are reportedly in "striking distance" for a deal.
As we have learned in the sports world, particularly when it comes to Harbaugh and the NFL, nothing is official until pen hits paper. The Chargers hiring Harbaugh is the most likely outcome but it is not the only outcome for either side.
The Chargers know this and have been preparing in case Harbaugh gets cold feet. Los Angeles has cast a wide net of candidates, including other big-name options like Mike Vrabel. Yet another prominent name has entered the conversation who isn't looking to just be a fallback option for Harbaugh but instead looks like someone who might be trying to swipe the Chargers job away from Harbaugh.
Pete Carroll is reportedly pushing for Chargers head coaching job
At the time of writing this, there has not been any reported interviews between Pete Carroll and the LA Chargers. However, Carroll checks multiple boxes for the Chargers and it wouldn't be surprising if the team at least brings him in if he is indeed pushing for the job.
Carroll is the most experienced candidate not named Bill Belichick in this coaching cycle and has consistently coached the Seahawks into relevance. Carroll established a winning culture for a franchise that did not have one before and that is exactly what the Chargers are looking for.
Is Carroll a stronger candidate than Harbaugh? No. Probably not. Carroll is older and the window of building something long-lasting is much smaller than it is with Harbaugh. Is he a great head coach candidate and the second-best option behind Harbaugh? Probably.
At the very least, this can give the Chargers some leverage. Harbaugh dominates any discussions that he is in and always has the upper hand when it comes to leverage. If the Chargers at least have Carroll in their back pocket then they will be able to use that to their advantage whether or not they actually have any intention of hiring him.
There is no real chance that Carroll can steal the job from Harbaugh as this really does seem like Harbaugh's race to lose. But there is no such thing as having too many options and having another big-name candidate enter the conversation is a huge win for the Bolts.