ESPN‘s Chris Mortensen tweeted Saturday that the Ravens and head coach John Harbaugh have agreed “in principle” to a contract extension, according to a source close to negotiations.
“Harbaugh has one year remaining on existing deal,” Mortensen wrote.
Harbaugh, 56, has been the Ravens head coach since Jan. 19, 2008.
The terms and length of the extension are currently unknown. This season, Harbaugh guided the Ravens to their first playoff appearance since 2014. Baltimore has made it to the playoffs seven times in the 11 years Harbaugh has been at the helm, including a victory against the 49ers in Super Bowl XL VII, according to Sports Illustrated.
The Ravens said in a statement released on Dec. 21 that Harbaugh would return in 2019 and that the two sides were working toward an extension.
“John Harbaugh will continue as our head coach for the 2019 season, and he and we are working on an extension to his existing contract, which expires after the 2019 season,” team leaders said.
Following a 4-5 start in 2018, CBS Sports‘ Jason La Canfora reported on Nov. 11 that Harbaugh and the Ravens were “very likely headed to a mutual parting of the ways” after the season.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 19, 2019
“There will not be another one-year extension forthcoming, I’m told (Harbaugh agreed to such a deal prior to last season to avoid a looming ‘lame duck’ season), and with rising general manager Eric DeCosta set to take over for Ozzie Newsome after the season, and the Ravens facing a possible roster overhaul, there is a strong sense that these sides will be moving on amicably,” CBS Sports divulged.
One source told La Canfora that the coach’s odds of being with Baltimore in 2019 were “quite bleak,” according to Bleacher Report.
The Ravens turned it around and won six of their final seven games to capture the AFC North title for the first time since 2012 with a record of 10-6. They lost to the Chargers 23-17 in the AFC wild-card round.
In December, Ravens leadership announced that Harbaugh would return for the 2019 season.
Harbaugh proved his worth and support for the program by showing a willingness and ability to adjust his offense around rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson who took over in week 11.
Among current NFL head coaches, Harbaugh is one of only five who has remained with the same team for at least 10 seasons, Bleacher Report shared.
Adam Schefter, an NFL Insider for ESPN, tweeted that there was “some laywer stuff left to do.” Michael David Smith with NBC Sports said that Harbaugh could have refused to sign anything based upon his turnaround. He had the means to improve his position in negotiations or could have put himself out there to other teams as a free agent.