After making the playoffs for the first time in four seasons, John Harbaugh is being rewarded with a new contract from the Baltimore Ravens. The extension was unofficially announced Saturday afternoon by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen and officially confirmed Thursday by the Ravens Twitter account. Harbaugh was expected to return as the head coach for the 2019 season but his current contract was set to expire after the conclusion of the season. He will now be under contract for four years and the presumable future.
Done deal. 🖊
We have reached a new four-year contract with Head Coach John Harbaugh. pic.twitter.com/8ZaepwCpCm
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) January 24, 2019
John Harbaugh and Baltimore Ravens Officially Agree to a Four-Year Extension
The fate of Harbaugh’s tenure was predicated on the success he had in his 2018 season. With Ozzie Newsome stepping down as general manager and assistant general manager Eric DeCosta set to take his place, many speculated that the Ravens could go through a complete coaching overhaul. This looked the case when the Ravens began the season 4-5 heading into their week 10 bye. They then flipped the script by promoting rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson to starter over the then injured Joe Flacco, and would finish the season on a 6-1 run on route to an AFC North title. They would drop their only playoff game 23-17 to the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Ravens have only existed as an NFL franchise for 23 years but Harbaugh has held his job for 11 seasons. In that time, he has only had a sub .500 winning percentage once. That season was in 2015 and was one in which the Ravens finished the year with 23 players on injured reserve, including their top receiver, running back, tight end and quarterback. This Ravens team was a shell of itself but also gave the Baltimore fans a reality check of how consistent their team has been under Harbaugh.
Harbaugh started his Ravens career with five straight playoff appearances. He won a playoff game in each, captured two division titles, reached three AFC Championship games, and finished the run with a victory in Super Bowl XLVII. Those five seasons combined had his record at an impressive 54-26 in the regular season and a solid 9-4 in the playoffs.
His six seasons after have not been as glorious but have still been good considering some of the letdowns the Ravens have suffered. He owns a career winning percentage of .591 and is currently sitting at 40th all-time in wins for a head coach. Harbaugh’s defenses have only finished outside the top-10 in yards and points against three times in his tenure.
After saying “I have every expectation, every plan, to be here as long as they want me here,” Harbaugh got his wish and will have an interesting task ahead of him in 2019. Baltimore is working with their fifth offensive coordinator since letting Cam Cameron go back in 2012 and the offense is going to have to drastically develop with Jackson entrenched as the starting quarterback.
After reaching the postseason and not winning a game for the first time in his coaching career, expectations will be high for Harbaugh and the Ravens next season.