John Harbaugh

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured Head Coaches

After the 2022 offseason produced 10 new head coaches, this one brought a step back in terms of turnover. Five teams changed HCs, though each conducted thorough searches — four of them lasting until at least January 31.

The Colts and Cardinals hired their HCs after Super Bowl LVII, plucking the Eagles’ offensive and defensive coordinators (Shane Steichen, Jonathan Gannon). The Cardinals were hit with a tampering penalty regarding their Gannon search. Conducting their second HC search in two years, the Broncos saw multiple candidates drop out of the running. But Denver’s new ownership group convinced Sean Payton to step out of the FOX studio and back onto the sidelines after just one season away. The Panthers made this year’s first hire (Frank Reich), while the Texans — running their third HC search in three years — finalized an agreement with DeMeco Ryans minutes after the Payton news broke.

Only one of last year’s top 10 longest-tenured HCs lost his job. A turbulent Colts year led to Reich being fired barely a year after he signed an extension. During a rather eventful stretch, Jim Irsay said he reluctantly extended Reich in 2021. The Colts passed on giving interim HC Jeff Saturday the full-time position, despite Irsay previously indicating he hoped the former center would transition to that role. Reich landed on his feet, and after losing Andrew Luck to a shocking retirement just before his second Colts season, the well-regarded play-caller now has another No. 1 pick (Bryce Young) to mentor.

After considering a Rams exit, Sean McVay recommitted to the team and is overseeing a reshaped roster. Andy Reid also sidestepped retirement rumors, staying on with the Chiefs after his second Super Bowl win. This will be Reid’s 25th season as an NFL head coach.

Here is how the 32 HC jobs look for the 2023 season:

  1. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000
  2. Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers): January 27, 2007; extended through 2024
  3. John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens): January 19, 2008; extended through 2025
  4. Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks): January 9, 2010; extended through 2025
  5. Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs): January 4, 2013; extended through 2025
  6. Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills): January 11, 2017; extended through 2027
  7. Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams): January 12, 2017; extended through 2023
  8. Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers): February 6, 2017; extended through 2025
  9. Mike Vrabel (Tennessee Titans): January 20, 2018; signed extension in February 2022
  10. Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers): January 8, 2019: signed extension in July 2022
  11. Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals): February 4, 2019; extended through 2026
  12. Ron Rivera (Washington Commanders): January 1, 2020
  13. Mike McCarthy (Dallas Cowboys): January 7, 2020
  14. Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland Browns): January 13, 2020
  15. Robert Saleh (New York Jets): January 15, 2021
  16. Arthur Smith (Atlanta Falcons): January 15, 2021
  17. Brandon Staley (Los Angeles Chargers): January 17, 2021
  18. Dan Campbell (Detroit Lions): January 20, 2021
  19. Nick Sirianni (Philadelphia Eagles): January 21, 2021
  20. Matt Eberflus (Chicago Bears): January 27, 2022
  21. Brian Daboll (New York Giants): January 28, 2022
  22. Josh McDaniels (Las Vegas Raiders): January 30, 2022
  23. Kevin O’Connell (Minnesota Vikings): February 2, 2022
  24. Doug Pederson (Jacksonville Jaguars): February 3, 2022
  25. Mike McDaniel (Miami Dolphins): February 6, 2022
  26. Dennis Allen (New Orleans Saints): February 7, 2022
  27. Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): March 30, 2022
  28. Frank Reich (Carolina Panthers): January 26, 2023
  29. Sean Payton (Denver Broncos): January 31, 2023
  30. DeMeco Ryans (Houston Texans): January 31, 2023
  31. Shane Steichen (Indianapolis Colts): February 14, 2023
  32. Jonathan Gannon (Arizona Cardinals): February 14, 2023

Latest On Ravens, RB J.K. Dobbins

J.K. Dobbins was not one of the players around the league who skipped mandatory minicamp this past week, but his situation is nevertheless a key talking point at the moment. The Ravens running back’s contract status appears to be an issue as he enters the final year of his rookie deal.

Dobbins has shown plenty of potential when on the field, but a major knee injury suffered in August 2021 has limited the occasions on which he has been available. The 24-year-old figures to find himself atop the depth chart this season, after the Ravens elected not to add to their backfield (one which also includes Gus Edwards and Justice Hill). The matter of working out a new contract is weighing on Dobbins, however.

“The business side is very hard. It’s very different,” he said during an interview with WJZ-TV. “You saw with [quarterback] Lamar [Jackson]… It’s never just roses and daisies. It can be hard at times and it’s business though” (h/t ESPN’s Jamison Hensley).

With an average of 5.9 yards per carry during his career (albeit one which has been limited to 26 combined regular and postseason games), Dobbins could be in line for a signficant raise in the near future. The Ravens are open to the idea of extending him, and their decision not to add to their backfield in free agency or the draft speaks to their confidence in his ability to remain highly efficient over the course of a full campaign. The Ohio State product was not a participant in practice during minicamp, however.

Head coach John Harbaugh indicated that he expected Dobbins to be available for team drills, but added that a recovery from a reported soft-tissue ailment should take place in time for training camp. New offensive coordinator Todd Monken added his desire to see him participate in minicamp, along optimism for when Dobbins is back on the field, though the latter declined to confirm or deny that he is currently injured during his interview.

Dobbins has publicly expressed frustration with his lack of usage as a true lead back in the past, something which no doubt serves as a potential obstacle to team and player reaching agreement on an extension. His value will also be affected by this year’s free agent market, one which has seen the RB position as a whole continue to be devalued. In any case, Dobbins is eyeing a pact allowing him to remain with the Ravens for the foreseeable future.

“So, the thing I can say is – I would love to be a Baltimore Raven for the rest of my career,” he said. “I would love to because I love the city, I love the people. It feels like family here. It feels like my second home. And I hope that happens.”

Ravens Remain Open To Re-Signing CB Marcus Peters

Baltimore entered (and exited) the draft with a roster hole at the cornerback position. They appeared to fill it with the signing of Rock Ya-Sin, but further moves could be coming, including a reunion with a notable veteran still on the market.

Head coach John Harbaugh indicated, via Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, that the Ravens could still be in search of an addition to their CB room (subscription required). He specifically named Marcus Peters, who has spent three-plus years in Baltimore, as a potential target. “You don’t close the door on good players and good people,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll see how it goes.”

Peters, 30, was acquired in a trade with the Rams in 2019, a move which proved to be fruitful for Baltimore in their attempt to add a productive compliment to Marlon Humphrey. Peters notched three interceptions in 10 games that year, and signed a three-year, $42MM deal in the offseason. His performance the following season pointed to that investment being a sound one.

The former Chiefs first-rounder racked up four interceptions in 2020, adding further to his status as the league’s premier ball hawk at the position. An ACL tear cost him the entire 2021 campaign, however, and he appeared to be less than fully recovered from the injury this past season. Peters had just one interception in 2022 (the lowest total of his career), while allowing seven touchdowns in coverage and encountering penalty trouble.

The two-time All-Pro did still log a 92% snap share, however, making him a key figure in the Ravens’ secondary. Baltimore was reportedly looking to work out a deal with Peters before free agency, one which would surely come in at a lower figure than the $14MM AAV of his previous one. The Washington product has not received much interest from the Ravens or another team since then, however.

Fifth-rounder Kyu Blu Kelly was the lone addition made at the CB spot by the Ravens in the draft, which led to the expectation that a veteran move would soon follow. To no surprise, Ya-Sin followed up a second visit with the team by inking a one-year, $6MM contract to give them team a new starting option. Peters remains unsigned into the third wave of free agency, along with the likes of Shaquill GriffinEli AppleTroy Hill and Ronald Darby. He may need to find a new home for 2023 depending on where the other top options land, but the possibility remains for Peters to continue his tenure in Baltimore.

Latest On Negotiations Between Ravens, Lamar Jackson

One of the top offseason storylines in the NFL remains the Lamar Jackson saga. Contract talks between the Ravens and the former MVP have not yielded progress, and the latter revealed recently that he has requested a trade to a team willing to sign him to the deal he is seeking.

Multiple offseasons of negotiations have stalled, primarily due to the issue of guaranteed money. The contract given to Deshaun Watson by the Browns last season – five years in length, totaling $230MM guaranteed in full – has long been seen as the sticking point between the two parties. That could represent a benchmark for Jackson (and other quarterbacks due for monster extensions in the near future), though the rest of the NFL has made it clear they consider the Watson pact an exception, rather than the beginning of a new trend.

Speaking on the subject during an appearance on the Bernie Kosar Showlongtime Ravens GM and current EVP Ozzie Newsome said, “every club has to do what they have to do with contracts. I don’t worry about what other people do, but our owner did say that contract did create some problems. We have to figure out if that’s going to be the norm or is that an outlier. We don’t know” (video link).

With the relationship between Jackson, 26, and the Ravens taking multiple noteworthy and public turns recently, many have speculated about the potential for his career to continue in Baltimore. On that point, ESPN’s Dan Graziano notes that a path towards fences being mended still exists in this situation. The Ravens have remained effusive in their praise of the former first-rounder, who is scheduled to play on the franchise tag ($32.4MM) in 2023 in the absence of a long-term deal.

Graziano adds that Jackson is asking for more than the $230MM Watson received in guaranteed money, but also that the Louisville product does not appear to be insistent on all of his deal being guaranteed. That may very well represent a moot point to many outside teams, considering the sizeable gap in guarantees which exists between the Watson pact and those signed last summer by the likes of Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray. It could, on the other hand, point further to Jackson and the Ravens being able to reach an agreement down the road.

However, Graziano’s colleague Jeremy Fowler reports that Baltimore is not currently moving with much urgency in terms of negotiations. Their decision to use the non-exclusive tag on Jackson left him free to test his market with potential suitors, but no serious ones have emerged at this point. Plenty of time remains until the draft, which could be an unofficial trade deadline, but also until the middle of July, the point by which Jackson will be required to sign the tag to be eligible to play this season. The ESPN pair note that the two-time Pro Bowler has become frustrated with Baltimore’s recent offers, and that he remains “principled” on the notion of setting a new precedent for future QB mega-deals.

While the Jackson saga is dominating the Ravens’ offseason, more news at the position could be forthcoming. Head coach John Harbaugh confirmed at the annual league meetings that the team is strongly considering adding a veteran backup quarterback. A number of options are off the market at this point in free agency, but The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec names Carson Wentz, Teddy Bridgewater and Mason Rudolph as potential targets who are still available (subscription required). In the event Jackson decides not to sign his tender by OTAs or training camp, the team will need to make an addition of some kind. By that point, more clarity may have emerged regarding their future under center.

AFC North Notes: Zimmer, Ravens’ Staff, Watson

The Bengals were struck with tragedy in October when assistant coach Adam Zimmer passed away. The 38-year-old had been hired to come back to Cincinnati earlier this year to work as an offensive analyst. The son of longtime Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, Adam had been in Minnesota since 2014 prior to that.

As detailed by Paul Walsh of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that Zimmer died of chronic alcohol abuse. Specifically, his passing came about due to “complications of chronic ethanol use disorder,” and was deemed to be natural. Zimmer had worked as an NFL staffer starting in 2006, spending time with the Saints and Chiefs before one year with the Bengals in 2013. He worked as a co-defensive coordinator of the Vikings in 2020 and 2021 before taking his final NFL role, the first which involved work on the offensive side of the ball.

Here are some other notes from the AFC North:

  • The Ravens clinched a playoff spot yesterday, and a division title is still within reach. Their offense has struggled throughout much of the season, however, especially in recent weeks with Lamar Jackson sidelined due to a PCL injury. That has led to calls for changes on the sidelines and increasing scrutiny on offensive coordinator Greg Roman in particular. No such move will be coming in at least the near future, though; head coach John Harbaugh stated (via ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, on Twitter) that he remains confident in his staff as is, adding that he is not considering any personnel changes at this time. Baltimore’s issues in the redzone have been a near-constant in 2022, with the team’s touchdown percentage of 46.3% ranking 30th in the league. In the three weeks with backup QB Tyler Huntley playing, that figure has plummeted to 22.2%.
  • The pursuit of Deshaun Watson was one of the league’s top storylines this offseason, with the Browns ultimately winning out. A large reason the recently-suspended passer chose to go to Cleveland was the nature of their fully-guaranteed, $230MM contract offer, of course, but another factor loomed large. The presence of head coach Kevin Stefanski was a “major reason” Watson chose to join the Browns, notes Mary Kay Cabot of The third-year HC has been reported to be on the hot seat this season, one in which the team has fallen short of expectations. A strong connection between he and Watson could help the Browns put together an encouraging end to the campaign, though, and help Stefanski remain in his post for at least 2023, the first year where Watson will be available for a full schedule since his acquisition.

Lamar Jackson Won’t Negotiate Extension During Regular Season

For the second day in a row, there has been an important development with respect to Lamar Jackson‘s extension efforts. ESPN’s Jamison Hensley reports that the Ravens quarterback won’t negotiate a new contract once the regular season begins. 

[RELATED: Jackson Seeking Fully Guaranteed Deal?]

When asked about a firm deadline approaching in the form of Week 1, Jackson said, “We’re coming up to it. It’s coming up. The season’s coming up. We’re going to be good for the season.”

The 25-year-old also repeated his desire to finalize a new contract in time for the season, which is in line with remarks he made in the build-up to training camp last month. Jackson is currently set to play on the fifth-year option this season, which will pay him just over $23MM.

One (or two) subsequent seasons played on the franchise tag remains an option if a deal can’t be finalized by next July, a path which this situation seemed to be headed towards for much of the offseason. With negotiations – which at all times have been conducted personally between Jackson and Ravens GM Eric DeCosta – potentially becoming more urgent, the lack of leverage the former has relative to Deshaun Watson as his trade market led to a fully guaranteed pact contrasts with the significant toll a franchise tag would take on the Ravens’ 2023 cap situation.

“I’m very confident that it will get done when it gets done,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “You can’t really rush it. I don’t think either side wants to rush anything.”

With just under one month remaining until the regular season, there is still time for both sides to finalize a deal which would all-but assuredly place Jackson at or near the top of the QB market. In the absence of an extension coming together in the immediate future, though, this situation will be set to drag on for several more months.

Ravens Notes: OL, Edwards, WR Search

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh recently stated that the injury suffered by rookie center Tyler Linderbaum wasn’t expected to be serious. After further testing, that outlook remains the same, though there have been conflicting reports on the nature of the injury.

Earlier this week, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo indicated that the foot ailment is a Lisfranc injury (video link). That would be particularly relevant in Linderbaum’s case, as he played through the same injury in college. Rapoport added that this latest issue was a “reoccurrence” of the injury suffered during the first-rounder’s time at Iowa, but that it was a sprain, rather than a rupture, leading to further belief in the original one-to-two week recovery timeline.

However, Harbaugh disputed that reporting, instead stating that Linderbaum suffered a soft-tissue injury. “It’s a different ligament,” Harbaugh said, via the Baltimore Sun’s Jonas Shaffer“So he’s had the Lisfranc before. There’s no separation. There’s no Lisfranc sprain, per se.” He nevertheless confirmed that the issue is “not serious,” so Linderbaum is still expected to be available for Week 1 of the regular season, where he is penciled in as the team’s starting center.

Here are some other notes from Charm City:

  • A couple of the Ravens’ wideouts are also banged up. Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic tweets that James Proche could be out for “a few weeks” due to a soft tissue injury of his own. In addition, Tylan Wallace sprained his knee during last night’s preseason game. Slated to hold the third and fourth positions on the WR depth chart, respectively, any significant absence from either player would weaken what could already be the thinnest position group on Baltimore’s roster. As Zrebiec adds, the team “may have no choice now” but to add a veteran still on the open market.
  • The team appears to be on track to get RB J.K. Dobbins back to full health in time for the regular season, but the outlook isn’t as good for his backup. Per Zrebiec, Gus Edwards is “considered a long shot” to be available for Week 1. Both backs missed all of last season due to knee injuries, and their return will prove crucial to the team’s rushing attack. Edwards has two years remaining on his current contract, with cap hits of $4.5MM and $5.6MM this year and next.
  • The one spot which has been undecided throughout the offseason along the offensive line is left guard. Ben Powers remains in the lead for the starting spot, reports ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. His consistency currently places him ahead of Tyre Phillips, who is seen as having more upside but has missed significant time during each of his first two seasons. With the top two spots likely going to Powers and Phillips, 2021 third-rounder Ben Cleveland (who missed the first week of training camp due to a failed conditioning test) is now a “long shot” to make the roster.

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured Head Coaches

The NFL experienced a busy offseason on the coaching front. A whopping 10 teams changed coaches during the 2022 offseason, with the Buccaneers’ late-March switch pushing the number into double digits.

Fourteen of the league’s 32 head coaches were hired in the past two offseasons, illustrating the increased pressure the NFL’s sideline leaders face in today’s game. Two of the coaches replaced this year left on their own. Sean Payton vacated his spot in second on the longest-tenured HCs list by stepping down from his 16-year Saints post in February, while Bruce Arians has repeatedly insisted his Bucs exit was about giving his defensive coordinator a chance with a strong roster and not a Tom Brady post-retirement power play.

While Bill Belichick has been the league’s longest-tenured HC for many years, Payton’s exit moved Mike Tomlin up to No. 2. Mike Zimmer‘s firing after nine seasons moved Frank Reich into the top 10. Reich’s HC opportunity only came about because Josh McDaniels spurned the Colts in 2018, but Indianapolis’ backup plan has led the team to two playoff brackets and has signed an extension. Reich’s seat is hotter in 2022, however, after a January collapse. Linked to numerous HC jobs over the past several offseasons, McDaniels finally took another swing after his Broncos tenure ended quickly.

As 2022’s training camps approach, here are the NFL’s longest-tenured HCs:

  1. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000
  2. Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers): January 27, 2007; extended through 2024
  3. John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens): January 19, 2008; extended through 2025
  4. Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks): January 9, 2010; extended through 2025
  5. Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs): January 4, 2013; extended through 2025
  6. Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills): January 11, 2017; extended through 2025
  7. Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams): January 12, 2017; extended through 2023
  8. Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers): February 6, 2017; extended through 2025
  9. Mike Vrabel (Tennessee Titans): January 20, 2018; signed extension in February 2022
  10. Frank Reich (Indianapolis Colts): February 11, 2018; extended through 2026
  11. Kliff Kingsbury (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2019; extended through 2027
  12. Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers): January 8, 2019
  13. Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals): February 4, 2019; extended through 2026
  14. Ron Rivera (Washington Football Team): January 1, 2020
  15. Matt Rhule (Carolina Panthers): January 7, 2020
  16. Mike McCarthy (Dallas Cowboys): January 7, 2020
  17. Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland Browns): January 13, 2020
  18. Robert Saleh (New York Jets): January 15, 2021
  19. Arthur Smith (Atlanta Falcons): January 15, 2021
  20. Brandon Staley (Los Angeles Chargers): January 17, 2021
  21. Dan Campbell (Detroit Lions): January 20, 2021
  22. Nick Sirianni (Philadelphia Eagles): January 21, 2021
  23. Nathaniel Hackett (Denver Broncos): January 27, 2022
  24. Matt Eberflus (Chicago Bears): January 27, 2022
  25. Brian Daboll (New York Giants): January 28, 2022
  26. Josh McDaniels (Las Vegas Raiders): January 30, 2022
  27. Kevin O’Connell (Minnesota Vikings): February 2, 2022
  28. Doug Pederson (Jacksonville Jaguars): February 3, 2022
  29. Mike McDaniel (Miami Dolphins): February 6, 2022
  30. Dennis Allen (New Orleans Saints): February 7, 2022
  31. Lovie Smith (Houston Texans): February 7, 2022
  32. Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): March 30, 2022

Ravens Intend To Keep Chuck Clark

After the events of this offseason, and the draft in particular, veteran Ravens safety Chuck Clark has been named as a player the team might look to move on from. Head coach John Harbaugh doesn’t see him going anywhere, however. 

When speaking to the media, Harbaugh said, “the idea is to have as many good players as you can have and have them in the right spots and the right roles. I love the fact that we have very versatile players in the backend and at safety. So, to me, Chuck is a big part of this team, and I’m planning on Chuck being here.”

Those comments were made in light of the fact that the team drafted safety Kyle Hamilton 14th overall. Lauded for his range and positional versatility, many felt that his addition would make Clark redundant. The latter has been a starter for the past three seasons, totalling 249 tackles, four interceptions and 25 pass deflections during that stretch. He has also worn the green dot as the player responsible for organizing the defense on the field.

Still, the overlap in skillsets between Clark and Hamilton has led to speculation that the Ravens could handle his situation in a similar fashion to those of Orlando Brown Jr. and Marquise Brown – highly regarded players whose trade requests were honored despite the team having the option of keeping them for at least one more season. The 27-year-old is under contract for two more years, with cap hits of $4.6MM and $5.2MM, though he has no guaranteed money remaining on his deal.

Assuming Clark is retained, he could still see plenty of playing time even if Hamilton starts right away. He has experience lining up in a number of positions, just as the latter does from his time at Notre Dame. The team should have opportunities to use three-safety packages (complementing free agent signee Marcus Williams) given their lack of established veterans at the inside linebacker and slot corner positions. If they do part ways, though, Baltimore would turn to the likes of Brandon Stephens, Tony Jefferson and Geno Stone to fill the safety void.

Latest On Ravens’ Pernell McPhee, Jimmy Smith

The Ravens roster is still taking shape and John Harbaugh isn’t sure whether two of his veteran defenders will return. When asked about the status of edge rusher Pernell McPhee and cornerback Jimmy Smith, the head coach couldn’t say whether they’d stick in Baltimore, head elsewhere, or even retire.

[RELATED: L. Jackson: “I Love My Ravens”]

I have (talked to them), but I think it’s for them to say what their plans are. I’ll leave that to them,” Harbaugh said (Twitter link via Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic).

No matter what McPhee does, it’s likely that the Ravens will be reworking their edge group. Outside linebacker Tyus Bowser could be on his way out after a year of porous pass coverage capped by a torn Achilles. Fellow pass rusher Justin Houston is also a free agent, which means that the Ravens are likely to prioritize the position in the draft.

Smith, 34 in July, has spent his entire career in Baltimore. Since 2011, he’s suited up for 128 games with 90 starts, registering 14 interceptions, three sacks, and 374 career tackles. While he’s been a staple of the secondary, his production has clearly slipped with time. He’s also earned more than enough money to walk away, so it’s possible that he’ll move on to new endeavors this offseason.

Both players are out of contract and free to sign anywhere, but we’ve haven’t heard much about either vet in recent weeks.