It’s the time of year where the coaching carousel is about to be in full swing, and there are a ton of rumors floating around. While there are a slew of coaches who are near locks to be fired come next Monday, the biggest stories of the week have been about two coaches who are staying put, John Harbaugh and Pete Carroll. The Ravens suddenly announced Harbaugh would be back in 2019 after there was a ton of speculation that he’d be fired if Baltimore missed the playoffs. While the team announced in their statement they were going to try to work on an extension and all appeared to be well and good, his long term future with the team is apparently very much still in doubt.
There’s a “real chance” that Harbaugh opts not to sign any extension from the Ravens, notes Peter King of NBC Sports. King writes Harbaugh may “coach his final season and take his chance on the market in 2020.” Harbaugh was expected to be pursued by several teams if he was let go by the Ravens, and would likely have his pick of at least a few jobs if he decides to go that route in 2020. For what it’s worth Harbaugh didn’t sound particularly excited after the Ravens announced he’d be back in 2019, calling the news a “non-story”, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN (Twitter link). Coaches very rarely willingly switch teams, but it sounds like Harbaugh could be an exception.
Here’s more from the coaching ranks as we barrel toward Week 17:
- Carroll got an extension from the Seahawks this past week, and is committed to Seattle for the long haul. Carroll spoke glowingly of the organization, and said he plans on coaching at least another five years, according to Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune. His new deal is reportedly paying him around $11MM per year, so it’s no surprise he’s in no rush to get going. The three year extension will take Carroll through his age 70 season.
- Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald could be a candidate for the Packers’ head coaching job, multiple people told Albert Breer of SI.com. Breer points out that Packers president Mark Murphy used to be Northwestern’s athletic director, and hired Fitzgerald at NU. Fitzgerald has done a great job turning the Wildcats into a good program, and his name has come up a couple of times in recent NFL coaching cycles. It would be an outside the box hire, but that might be exactly what Green Bay needs to re-energize the team.
- Vance Joseph is all but certain to be fired by the Broncos at the end of the season, but his days as a head coach might not be over. Joseph’s name “has popped up in recent weeks as a potential heir to” Marvin Lewis with the Bengals, according to Breer. Joseph was a defensive backs coach with the Bengals for a couple of years before landing the DC gig in Miami, and as Breer notes, the Bengals love to hire people they’re familiar with. Breer also writes that “there’s been talk that owner Mike Brown could take one more run at it with Marvin Lewis in charge in 2019″, before he cedes more control over to his children after next year. It’s quite possible Joseph joins the team on the defensive staff next year, and that he and Hue Jackson battle it out to succeed Lewis after that.