Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco both joined the team in 2008, and it seems as though their futures in Baltimore have been entwined ever since. We heard not that long ago that Harbaugh was on the hot seat, but now the Ravens are riding a three-game winning streak and have put themselves squarely back in the playoff hunt (even if they lose to the Chiefs today). And, if the team qualifies for the postseason, one would think that Harbaugh, at least, would be returning to Baltimore in 2019.
But that may not be the case. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that Harbaugh is high atop the wish list for teams that will be looking for a new HC next year, and if the Ravens do want to move on, they could use that to their advantage. They could negotiate some sort of player/draft compensation with the team that wants Harbaugh, and once that compensation is agreed upon, the new team would then be free to negotiate a contract with Harbaugh directly. Of course, if Baltimore goes on a successful playoff run, that could complicate matters, and it is certainly possible that such a scenario would compel the Ravens to keep Harbaugh for themselves,
Flacco, meanwhile, is inactive for the fourth straight week, per Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reported this morning (via Twitter) that Flacco has looked good in practice this week and would serve as Lamar Jackson‘s backup this afternoon, and Kansas City head coach Andy Reid even said he expected Baltimore to deploy both Jackson and Flacco. However, the Ravens will now be able to postpone the Jackson vs. Flacco decision for at least one more week.
We knew that Flacco was battling a hip injury, and Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports that Flacco has been dealing with a slight tear in his hip (video link). Flacco apparently believes he is healthy enough to start, but Rapoport would not be surprised if Baltimore continues to start Jackson until the rookie falters (if he falters). Indeed, Jay Glazer of FOX Sports tweets that, even if Flacco were active today, Jackson would be the guy. Glazer said simply, “Jackson is their QB.”
The Ravens can cut Flacco after the season and save some money against the cap, though they would also have a dead money hit to contend with. Many expect that Baltimore will go that route, assuming Jackson continues to do enough to prove that he is fully ready for the starting gig moving forward. Of course, the Ravens could also trade Flacco to a team in search of a veteran signal-caller.
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