Peter King says ‘there's a real chance' Harbaugh doesn't sign extension


The Baltimore Ravens announced last week that their long-time head coach John Harbaugh will be back for the 2019 season, the final year of his current contract, and that he and the team were working on an extension to keep him in Baltimore beyond next year.

But in his Football Morning in America column posted yesterday morning on Pro Football Talk, NBC's Peter King says "there's a real chance" that Harbaugh doesn't sign that extension, playing out his final season and testing the market in 2020. As King notes, it's not a situation unlike that of franchise quarterback Joe Flacco, who hit the market after leading the Ravens to the Super Bowl XLVII title but ended up staying in Baltimore on a lucrative deal totaling more than $120 million:

"Why should Harbaugh sign now? Since that Super Bowl win, the Ravens are 50-47, with only one playoff win. He’s won a Super Bowl, but since then, the Ravens haven’t won anything. I believe he wants to stay in Baltimore but wouldn’t be heartbroken if he had to move on. He’s probably worth more elsewhere, so I think it’s legitimately possible he coaches out his contract in Baltimore in 2019. And I don’t think it would bother him very much to do so."

Flacco appears likely to hit the market this offseason as the Ravens get more comfortable with rookie Lamar Jackson under center. Baltimore is 5-1 since the switch to the former Heisman Trophy winner, and has taken over first place in the AFC North.

Harbaugh, of course, has been a thorn in the Patriots' side throughout the Belichick era. Harbaugh led the Ravens to victory in two of New England's most devastating playoff losses under Belichick, the 2009 AFC Wild Card round and the 2012 AFC Championship game. He also successfully lobbied the NFL to tweak its rules regarding eligible receivers after losing in a 2014 AFC Divisional Round game at Gillette Stadium in which the Patriots fooled the Ravens with an array of formation tricks.

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