John Harbaugh, Ravens making progress on long-term extension but still have key issues to work through
Baltimore is going to lock down their head coach for the long haul
Lots of rumors surrounded the future of John Harbaugh and the Ravens this offseason, but Baltimore is taking the necessary steps to lock down the coach, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports.
The Ravens and Harbaugh appeared to be heading for a divorce this offseason when 2018 began, but the Ravens started out the season pretty well. A downturn in the middle of the season propped up more rumors about Harbaugh moving along, but the Ravens turned to Lamar Jackson with Joe Flacco injured, and the rookie quarterback spurred a revamped rushing attack that led to a division title.
Right before the key game of the run, against the Chargers in Los Angeles the week before Christmas, the Ravens issued a statement claiming they planned to keep Harbaugh as their coach in 2019 and work on a deal.
But that was not exactly the same as giving Harbaugh an extension, obviously, and there were concerns about his future in Baltimore anyway. Those concerns related to other teams -- notably the Jets -- having rumored interest in trading for Harbaugh as well as Harbaugh having concerns about the power structure with GM Ozzie Newsome stepping away from his position and Eric DeCosta taking over as general manager in 2019.
Harbaugh wouldn't likely want to take a deal that gave him minimum power over personnel. He might well be willing to ride out the final year of his contract in 2019 and see where the market goes.
But it appears Harbaugh's willingness to commit to Jackson as his quarterback -- despite criticism and cries for Flacco he stayed with the rookie during the Ravens' playoff loss to the Chargers (a rematch of the regular season game that Los Angeles dominated) -- plus moving on from Marty Morhinwheg and going to Greg Roman as offensive coordinator has apparently paved the way for the longtime Ravens coach to remain in Baltimore long-term.
Harbaugh is a Super Bowl-winning coach, and it's not likely the Ravens would immediately upgrade at the position. Signing him to an extension makes all the sense in the world.
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