PALM BEACH, Fla. – The Baltimore Ravens signed coach John Harbaugh to a three-year contract extension, owner Steve Bisciotti announced Tuesday at the NFL league meetings.
The extension puts Harbaugh under contract with the Ravens through the 2025 season and continues one of the longest runs of any active coach. It also represents a strong vote of confidence after the team’s 8-9 season, which was the first time Harbaugh has finished in last place.
Harbaugh, 59, was entering the final year of a four-year deal that he signed in January 2019. A source told ESPN last month that the sides were nearing a new contract.
“No interest in having him go lame duck on me here. It’s not fair to him,” Bisciotti said. “I think John’s grown and grown and grown. It’s kind of interesting. I do not feel like I’m just signing up the same guy. I think that’s really a compliment to him. I really feel like there’s a rebirth in John as the years go on. Things that mattered to him do not matter as much anymore. I’m just thrilled as an owner to have a guy that’s going to be going into his 15th year. So, I’m pretty pleased with it. “
This marks Harbaugh’s 15th NFL season in Baltimore, marking the third-longest tenure among active coaches. Only Bill Belichick and Mike Tomlin have been with their current teams longer.
Harbaugh has led the Ravens to the playoffs nine times, producing a career record of 148-96 (.607). In 2012, Harbaugh guided Baltimore to a Super Bowl title with a strong-armed Joe Flacco. Seven years later, Harbaugh became the only Ravens coach to win the Associated Press’ NFL Coach of the Year award after going all-in on Lamar Jackson and creating an offense tailored for him.
Last year, Harbaugh was in the midst of one of his best coaching jobs, helping the Ravens to the best record in the AFC at 8-3 in Week 12 despite eight starters on season-ending injured reserve. But Baltimore lost its last six games, which resulted in just the second losing record under Harbaugh.
Both of Harbaugh’s losing seasons – 2015 and last season – came when his starting quarterbacks (Flacco and Jackson) were sidelined by injury for a combined 11 games.
When Bisciotti selected Harbaugh to replace Brian Billick in 2008, it was considered an unconventional hire because Harbaugh had primarily been a special teams coach with the Philadelphia Eagles. Harbaugh justified the decision with consistent success, recording 11 playoff wins. Only Belichick has had more postseason victories (16) over that 14-year span.
From the time he stepped inside the Ravens’ facility, Harbaugh changed the culture, promoting unselfishness while encouraging players to be themselves. The players rave about Harbaugh’s competitiveness and how he’ll push them while working out beside them. Harbaugh has built a reputation for being aggressive, whether it’s going for it on fourth downs or choosing to win games in the final minute with 2-point conversions.
This is Harbaugh’s sixth contract extension with Baltimore, which has become one of the most stable franchises in sports. The Ravens have only had three head coaches in their 26-year history: Ted Marchibroda, Billick and Harbaugh.
With Harbaugh’s deal complete, the next priority is Jackson’s contract. The 2019 NFL MVP is entering his fifth-year option, and the Ravens would be forced to put the franchise tag on him next offseason if the sides can’t agree on a contract extension.