John Harbaugh

Longest-Tenured Head Coaches In The NFL

Things move fast in today’s NFL and the old adage of “coaches are hired to be fired” has seemingly never been more true. For the most part, teams change their coaches like they change their underwear. 

A head coach can take his team to the Super Bowl, or win the Super Bowl, or win multiple Super Bowls, but they’re never immune to scrutiny. Just ask Tom Coughlin, who captured his second ring with the Giants after the 2011 season, only to receive his pink slip after the 2015 campaign.

There are also exceptions. Just look at Bill Belichick, who just wrapped up his 20th season at the helm in New England. You’ll also see a few others on this list, but, for the most part, most of today’s NFL head coaches are relatively new to their respective clubs. And, history dictates that many of them will be elsewhere when we check in on this list in 2022.

Over one-third (12) of the NFL’s head coaches have coached no more than one season with their respective teams. Meanwhile, less than half (15) have been with their current clubs for more than three years. It seems like just yesterday that the Cardinals hired Kliff Kingsbury, right? It sort of was – Kingsbury signed on with the Cardinals in January of 2019. Today, he’s practically a veteran.

Here’s the list of the current head coaches in the NFL, ordered by tenure, along with their respective start dates:

  1. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000
  2. Sean Payton (New Orleans Saints): January 18, 2006
  3. Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers): January 27, 2007
  4. John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens): January 19, 2008
  5. Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks): January 9, 2010
  6. Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs): January 4, 2013
  7. Bill O’Brien (Houston Texans): January 2, 2014
  8. Mike Zimmer (Minnesota Vikings): January 15, 2014
  9. Dan Quinn (Atlanta Falcons): February 2, 2015
  10. Doug Pederson (Philadelphia Eagles): January 18, 2016
  11. Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills): January 11, 2017
  12. Doug Marrone (Jacksonville Jaguars): December 19, 2016 (interim; permanent since 2017)
  13. Anthony Lynn (Los Angeles Chargers): January 12, 2017
  14. Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams): January 12, 2017
  15. Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers): February 6, 2017
  16. Matt Nagy (Chicago Bears): January 7, 2018
  17. Matt Patricia (Detroit Lions): February 5, 2018
  18. Frank Reich (Indianapolis Colts): February 11, 2018
  19. Jon Gruden (Las Vegas Raiders): January 6, 2018
  20. Mike Vrabel (Tennessee Titans): January 20, 2018
  21. Kliff Kingsbury (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2019
  22. Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals): February 4, 2019
  23. Vic Fangio (Denver Broncos): January 10, 2019
  24. Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers): January 8, 2019
  25. Brian Flores (Miami Dolphins): February 4, 2019
  26. Adam Gase (New York Jets): January 11, 2019
  27. Bruce Arians (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 8, 2019
  28. Ron Rivera (Washington Redskins): January 1, 2020
  29. Matt Rhule (Carolina Panthers): January 7, 2020
  30. Mike McCarthy (Dallas Cowboys): January 7, 2020
  31. Joe Judge (New York Giants): January 8, 2020
  32. Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland Browns): January 13, 2020

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens HC: Will Be Hard To Keep Matt Judon

The Ravens want to keep Matt Judon, but head coach John Harbaugh admits that it’ll be “pretty hard” to retain the in-demand pass rusher. 

We’re going to try to get as many of these guys re-signed as we can. Matt [Judon] is probably right at the top of the list, for sure,” Harbaugh told reporters on Friday. “Our goal will be to have Matt back.”

Judon, 28 in August, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in March. After notching a career-high 9.5 sacks and four forced fumbles in his first season as a full-time starter, Judon could fetch big bucks on the open market.

There’s some question as to whether the Ravens can afford to re-sign him to a lucrative long-term deal, but they can ill afford to lose him, either. Judon stepped up after the Ravens’ front seven lost Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith to free agency. Now, there’s no one behind the fourth-year player that could replace his production.

The Ravens will have to balance their desire to keep Judon with other pending free agents, including cornerback Jimmy Smith, defensive tackle Michael Pierce, and linebacker Patrick Onwuasor. They’re also likely to exercise defensive back Brandon Carr‘s option, which would carry a $7MM cap figure.

As it stands, the Ravens are projected to have nearly $34MM in cap space for the offseason.

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AFC North Notes: Jackson, Steelers, Bengals

The RavensLamar Jackson interest began before his junior year at Louisville. It escalated a few weeks before the 2018 draft. During a disagreement among Ravens staffers regarding quarterback preferences going into a draft that would have five QBs taken in the first round, John Harbaugh pronounced his willingness to build a new offense around the dual-threat passer.

If we draft Lamar, I’m good with that,” Harbaugh said during an hours-long discussion about Jackson (via The Athletic’s Dan Pompei, subscription required). “We can build an offense around him. We’ll play great special teams, great defense and be a ball-control offense. We’ll build a big, physical offensive line. We’ll get physical running backs. We’ll block on the perimeter. We’ll run all the elements of the college offense. We’ll do something different.”

After choosing Jackson, the Ravens rode some of Greg Roman‘s Colin Kaepernick-based concepts to a division title. Harbaugh, Roman and then-OC Marty Mornhinweg considered going back to Joe Flacco when the Ravens’ offense stalled for much of their wild-card loss to the Chargers, but each of Harbaugh’s assistants agreed Jackson gave the team the best chance to win. As for the Ravens’ 2019 offense, it will feature similar run designs to what was used last season. But Pompei adds the passing attack was considerably revamped in the offseason.

I expect this to change the way offensive football is played in the National Football League,” Harbaugh said. “Not that everybody is going to take on this style. But I expect us to create something that hasn’t been seen before. … I think we’re going to be in more elements than any team has ever been.”

Here is the latest from the AFC North, shifting first to Pittsburgh:

  • This weekend, Artie Burns is due an $800K bonus. If the Steelers are to move on from the former first-round pick who has not lived up to that billing, they would stand to limit their losses by doing so soon. Burns’ camp, however, is confident the fourth-year corner will still be a Steeler by week’s end, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Pittsburgh still has Joe Haden and Mike Hilton and added UFA addition Steven Nelson and third-round pick Justin Layne.
  • A hamstring injury will move T.J. Watt to the Steelers’ active/PUP list, Mark Kaboly of The Athletic tweets. The Pro Bowl outside linebacker should be expected to return fairly soon.
  • The Bengals placed Darqueze Dennard and running back Rodney Anderson on their active/PUP list. Dennard underwent offseason knee surgery, while Anderson’s college career ended after an ACL tear. The former Oklahoma running back is a candidate for the reserve/PUP list to start the season, per Fletcher Page of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Should Anderson stay on the PUP list to start the season, he must remain there for six regular-season weeks.

John Harbaugh’s Role Won’t Change With New GM

It was rumored that Ravens head coach John Harbaugh wanted to have final say on personnel decisions with the team moving from Ozzie Newsome to Eric DeCosta as general manager in 2019. The coach dispelled those rumors, however, ESPN’s Jamison Hensley tweets

“It works the same way, except now Eric is in the seat. Eric is the decision-maker, and he’ll be the guy making that final call, and he’ll also be the guy that will be building from the ground up.”

It took a few days to announce Harbaugh’s new contract, leading some to think the team’s longtime head coach was searching for more of a say in the team’s front office. However, he is not starting from scratch with DeCosta. The two have been in the organization since Harbaugh arrived, with DeCosta even beginning his tenure with the team in 1996. Though he won’t have “final say,” Harbaugh harped on the organization’s excellent communication.

“This is an organization that works together. We cross paths and we talk everything out – football, scouting, medical, weight strength and conditioning, everything you can think of. To me, it doesn’t matter who has what say over what. It’s never been about that here.”

Earlier in the week, Harbaugh signed a four-year extension that will keep him in Baltimore through the 2019 campaign. Before putting ink to paper, the longtime coach had one year remaining on his deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens, John Harbaugh Agree To Extension

John Harbaugh‘s new deal is finally done. On Thursday, the Ravens announced the signing of a fresh contract for their head coach. It’s a four-year extension that will take him through the 2023 season.

Harbaugh and the Ravens began discussing an extension early in January, but things took a bit of time to come together. Ultimately, the two sides were able to hash things out after a few weeks. Terms of the deal are not yet known, but it’s likely that the new deal will position him as one of the highest paid head coaches in the NFL.

In this cycle, multiple teams were said to be mulling trades for Harbaugh that probably would have called for the forfeiture of draft compensation. The Buccaneers and Dolphins gave it real thought, but they wound up hiring Bruce Arians and Brian Flores, respectively.

Harbaugh, 56, is 114-77 for his career and ranks fifth in wins among active coaches. Three straight Ravens playoff absences — and a 40-40 record from 2013-17 — moved him close to the chopping block, but the switch to Jackson (and Baltimore’s defense returning to elite status) transformed a 4-5 team to a 10-6 division champion. This past season marked the Ravens’ seventh playoff appearance under Harbaugh.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Ravens, Harbaugh, Titans

We heard yesterday that the Ravens were close to extending John Harbaugh after all. After a lot of buzz that Harbaugh might not be looking to sign an extension and instead play out his contract and test the open market, it looks like Harbaugh will indeed commit to Baltimore longterm. Extension talks were “accelerated during Ravens high-level annual organizational retreat Thursday and Friday with owner Steve Bisciotti”, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN (Twitter link). Mortensen notes that discussions took place during the retreat about a potential trade of Joe Flacco and how best to develop Lamar Jackson. It should be a busy offseason in Baltimore, and it’ll be interesting to see if they can get something of value for Flacco on the trade market.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • There’s only a couple of weeks until the offseason really gets underway, and we should start seeing a ton of free agency talk soon. With that in mind, ESPN NFL Nation reporters took a look at every team’s biggest upcoming free agency decision. The whole piece is worth a read, with a lot of insightful analysis about some of the biggest names to keep an eye on this March. DeMarcus Lawrence, Clay Matthews, and Anthony Barr are some of the situations that get discussed.
  • The Titans’ defense looked really solid at times this season, but could use some extra pass-rushers, according to Jim Wyatt of the team’s official site. Wyatt feels “certain” that the Titans will add outside linebacker help this offseason. Wyatt notes that with Brian Orakpo retiring and Derrick Morgan not a lock to be brought back next year, Mike Vrabel’s unit will need some reinforcements at outside linebacker.
  • In case you missed it, the Eagles are refusing to disclose details about Carson Wentz‘s injury.

Ravens, John Harbaugh Close On Extension

John Harbaugh‘s shift from lame-duck status back to long-term security with the Ravens is nearing completion. The Ravens and their longtime coach have an agreement in principle on an extension, Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).

One year remains on Harbaugh’s current deal. This new agreement is not yet finalized, with CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora tweeting key issues remain unresolved. While an extension is expected to be completed, JLC notes it is not done. Although, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com describes the road left to go as procedural (Twitter link).

Talks Harbaugh was set to be fired preceded trade rumors surrounding Baltimore’s 11-season leader, but the Ravens turning their season around and winning their first AFC North title since 2012 helped Harbaugh re-establish himself. The parties began extension talks earlier this month. He will be in charge of the full Joe Flacco-to-Lamar Jackson transition.

The Broncos, Buccaneers and Dolphins were loosely linked to Harbaugh as trade suitors. Each either hired coaches or have identified a future HC. Harbaugh may well have been the top candidate on this year’s market had the Ravens allowed it. Baltimore’s transition from Ozzie Newsome, who hired Harbaugh in 2008, to Eric DeCosta will not feature a major sideline shakeup. The new GM evidently saw enough from the franchise’s winningest coach to begin his tenure tethered to him.

Harbaugh, 56, is 114-77 and ranks fifth in wins among active coaches. Three straight Ravens playoff absences — and a 40-40 record from 2013-17 — moved him close to the chopping block, but the switch to Jackson (and Baltimore’s defense returning to elite status) transformed a 4-5 team to a 10-6 division champion. This marked the Ravens’ seventh playoff appearance under Harbaugh.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens, John Harbaugh Working On Extension

Maybe John Harbaugh is staying put after all. The Ravens are making progress on extension talks with their head coach, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Nothing is done yet, but both sides are encouraged by where things stand at the moment. 

[RELATED: PFR’s Head Coaching Search Tracker]

Despite a group of quality free agent coaches and available coordinators, multiple teams have considered the possibility of trading for Harbaugh. The Buccaneers and Dolphins are seriously mulling the idea of forfeiting draft compensation for the one-time Super Bowl winning coach, but they’ll have to concentrate on their other targets instead if Harbaugh re-ups in Baltimore.

Right now, it sounds as though Harbaugh and the Ravens will spend a 12th year together. Through eleven seasons, Harbaugh owns a 104-72 record (.591) as the Ravens’ head coach with seven playoff appearances.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

John Harbaugh: “Joe’s Going To Have A Market”

It sounds like Joe Flacco‘s tenure with Baltimore may be coming to an end, but head coach John Harbaugh is still a big fan of his long-time quarterback. Following today’s season-ending loss to the Chargers, Harbaugh said the veteran quarterback should have plenty of suitors during the offseason.

“Joe Flacco is going to play really well in this league. Joe can still play — I think we saw that the first half of the season,” Harbaugh said (via Cindy Boren of the Washington Post). “Joe’s going to have a market. There’s going to be a lot of teams that are going to want Joe because they understand that. I’ll be in Joe’s corner wherever he’s at. He’s special. Joe Flacco is a great talent; he’s an even better person. He’s the best QB in the history of the Ravens without question…He’s going to do just fine.”

Harbaugh all but said that Flacco won’t be in Baltimore next season, although this isn’t much of a surprise. It was clear that the veteran’s tenure with the organization was coming to an end when they decided to stick with rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson following Flacco’s return from a hip injury.

A report from mid-December indicated that the organization would ultimately either cut or trade the 33-year-old. This offseason marks the first time the Ravens can cut ties with Flacco and save money against the salary cap, although reports have indicated that the front office could help move the veteran to a franchise of his choice.

Flacco was still more-than-serviceable in his nine games this season. The veteran signal-caller completed 61.2-percent of his passes for 2,465 yards, 12 touchdowns, and six interceptions. Jackson struggled during today’s loss, and Harbaugh admitted that they considered inserting Flacco into the lineup. Ultimately, the veteran didn’t see the field for what will likely be his final game with the franchise.

If this is indeed the end of Flacco’s tenure in Baltimore, the veteran will finish his stint sitting in first for the majority of the team’s all-time passing stats. The 2008 first-round pick even ranks 15th in franchise history in rushing yards, which only accentuates his all-time value to the franchise.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Buccaneers Interested In John Harbaugh?

The Buccaneers are the second NFL team — along with the previously-reported Dolphins — which has mulled a trade for Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com.

Harbaugh, whose contract expires after the 2019 campaign, hasn’t conduced any substantive extension discussions with Baltimore, but reports have indicated he’s still likely to return as the Ravens’ coach next season. However, La Canfora reports many around the NFL feel clubs are “slow-playing” their head coaching searches with the hope that Harbaugh will somehow become available.

The Ravens also need to determine how their new front office and coaching hierarchy will be structured, per La Canfora. Harbaugh has long reported to general manager Ozzie Newsome, but it’s unclear if that setup will continue once new GM Eric DeCosta formally takes over. Therefore, other teams could potentially lure Harbaugh with the idea that he’d report directly to a franchise owner, rather than a personnel executive.

Tampa Bay, for its part, has thus far interviewed four coaches for its vacancy: former Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Cowboys defensive backs coach Kris Richard, and Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards. Arians is currently viewed as the favorite for the position, but the potential availability of Harbaugh could shake up the Buccaneers’ search.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.