Ravens, John Harbaugh have yet to discuss potential extension despite team's surprise announcement
Extension talks are set to begin in Week 17, but there's no indication on how smoothly they will go
Although the Baltimore Ravens announced John Harbaugh in 2019, the final year of his contract, and to extend him beyond that, no negotiations on conversations have actually taken place to that end, according to sources with knowledge of the situation, and numerous significant matters would have to be resolved before any new pact with the Super Bowl coach could be complete.
The sides have had no talks about Harbaugh's contract all season, including up to the point he was notified this weekend to tell him they want him to coach next season, sources said. There has been no movement towards that since the sides agreed to a one-year deal before the 2017 season, and the Ravens have no idea at this point about the term or compensation Harbaugh would expect. That's to say nothing of any changes to the team's hierarchy or decision-making process that he might espouse at a time when Baltimore's recent drafts and free-agent acquisitions have often suffered, and with owner Steve Bisciotti declaring a year ago that long-time executive Eric DeCosta would take over as general manager for Ozzie Newsome in 2019.
Negotiations are slated to begin during Week 17, but there are no guarantees as to how smoothly they go, or any timetable as to when an actual extension would be resolved, sources said.
Needless to say, the timing of the team's announcement on Friday evening came as a surprise to many, as this could have been something conceivably connoted to the coach in private, for example, rather than released prior to a potentially season-defining trip to face the Los Angeles Chargers. As reported during the Ravens' bye week, there will not be another one-year extension in store after this season, and while the Ravens have publicly declared a willingness to have Harbaugh coach out 2019 in a lame-duck year, that very rarely happens, especially with a coach of this magnitude. Harbaugh has a 102-72 record (.586) in 11 seasons with Baltimore and is 10-5 in the playoffs with a Lombardi Trophy, and rival executives wildly believe he would be the best head coach candidate on the market at any point he became available.
Harbaugh would be coveted by other teams, many of whom would be willing to couple a massive contract with more authority to influence personnel decisions should he desire it. Other owners have been watching this dance between Harbaugh and Bisciotti all season, laying in wait should the sides agree to part ways, or should the Ravens opt to move the coach via trade, a dynamic that could not possibly be lost on the coach's representation. The Ravens are not naïve to this, either; indeed, releasing this statement when they did was clearly foremost a signal to their fanbase, players, and other teams eager to pursue him.
The reality is they are no closer to any new pact with their coach than they were when the season began and have not even exchanged any ideas about what a long-term contract would entail. Bisciotti has made it clear that a failure to reach the postseason again would not be enough to move on from the first coach the owner ever hired. Whether or not Harbaugh truly coaching out a lame duck year through 2019 -- when he would be a more in-demand pending free agent than most players on the market -- actually makes sense for Bisciotti and the Ravens remains to be seen.
Pick Six Newsletter
Get the day's big stories + fun stuff you love like mock drafts, picks and power rankings.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
The head honcho in Washington believes McLaurin is about to have a breakout party
This should be a fairly easy contract negotiation for the Ravens
Several draft classes helped lay down the foundation for a championship
The new-look Buccaneers are immediately in Super Bowl contention with Tom Brady leading the...
For the first time since 2001, the Patriots have a new franchise QB
Pittsburgh has added a few new pieces to an already talented roster
Here's the perfect way to keep track of all your schedule leaks and updates in one place
CBS Sports is bringing you live updates and analysis as the 2020 NFL Draft wraps up on Saturday
Live scores, highlights and updates from the Broncos vs. Raiders football game