Harbaugh’s Extension Looming

It didn’t happen this week, but Head Coach John Harbaugh is due for a contract extension.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Friday, January 21st, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Categories: Mike Duffy

It didn’t happen this week as many in the media expected, but Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti said the Ravens are close to finalizing a contract extension with Head Coach John Harbaugh.

Harbaugh is entering the final year of the deal he signed in 2008, posting a 32-16 regular-season record since joining the Ravens.

“John is going to get his contract extension,” Bisciotti said in Thursday’s “Season Review” press conference. “Dick [Cass, Ravens President] has been working on it for the last couple weeks, and I’m sure it will take another week or two because he’s a tough guy to bargain with.”

In fact, when asked about Harbaugh’s status, Bisciotti joked that Harbaugh was squeezing his leg to get his attention.

“Squeezing his leg? My hand is not in his pocket!” Harbaugh retorted.

Harbaugh is just the fourth head coach since 1990 to reach the playoffs in his first three seasons, joining Bill Cowher, Dennis Green and Barry Switzer.

The Ravens have also fallen short of the Super Bowl each time, going 4-3 in the postseason under Harbaugh with the most-recent loss at the hands of the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.

Still, Bisciotti is confident Baltimore will break through that championship ceiling with Harbaugh leading the team.

“Last year, I said that our goal is to be one of the elite teams,” said Bisciotti. “Realistically, our goal is to try and be in the top 12 that gets you into the playoffs. Right now, if John retired, his winning percentage would be up there in history as one of the best ever. So, am I happy that we achieved a chance, a crack [at a Super Bowl]?

“You aspire to be great, and you can only give it a shot. And we got to the final eight, three years in a row.”

Harbaugh is only the third coach in Ravens franchise history and the first one to reach the tournament in back-to-back campaigns since Brian Billick did it in 2000 and 2001.

“[Harbaugh will] get his extension,” Bisciotti concluded with a laugh. “We’re pretty happy with him.”

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