John Harbaugh

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.

Ravens Sign John Harbaugh To Extension

The Ravens will continue their John Harbaugh partnership for a while. The rumored extension for the longtime Baltimore HC came to fruition Tuesday. Steve Bisciotti announced Harbaugh has signed a three-year re-up, per The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec (on Twitter).

This is Harbaugh’s fifth extension since he joined the Ravens in 2008. Harbaugh, 59, was entering a contract year; he is now signed through the 2025 season. With Sean Payton moving on from his Saints post, Harbaugh will enter the season as the NFL’s third-longest-tenured HC.

While the Ravens stumbled down the stretch last season, tumbling out of the playoff picture thanks to a six-game losing streak, Harbaugh has been one of the NFL’s steadier leaders since taking over. Baltimore has ventured to nine playoff brackets under Harbaugh, who has taken the team to three AFC championship games and secured the franchise’s second Super Bowl title nine years ago. He will enter the 2022 season with 137 wins (27th all time) and a .609 win percentage (33rd all time).

Baltimore’s only two losing seasons under Harbaugh came when his starting quarterback missed significant time. Prior to Lamar Jackson missing games to close out this past season, Joe Flacco suffered a torn ACL during the 2015 campaign. During the Flacco-to-Jackson transition year, uncertainty emerged regarding Harbaugh’s Baltimore future. Jackson’s late surge in that 2018 season helped Harbaugh off the hot seat, and he has not been connected to potentially losing his job since.

With Harbaugh locked down, focus can now shift to Jackson’s contract. Harbaugh has repeatedly said the former MVP will land a long-term extension from the Ravens, but no reports have indicated the sides are particularly close on a deal.

AFC North Rumors: Ravens, Jackson, Browns, Steelers

Ravens’ general manager Eric DeCosta‘s end-of-season press conference touched on a number of subjects, including the contract extension negotiations with star quarterback Lamar Jackson. While The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec does note that head coach John Harbaugh and DeCosta make it seem as if the deal is imminent, it isn’t guaranteed that Jackson signs an extension before the start of the 2022 NFL season.

“I would say that we’re working at Lamar’s pace. He’s comfortable with where we are right now,” DeCosta stated. He did call negotiations “unusual” with Jackson essentially acting as his own agent. There doesn’t seem to be any rush to get a deal done, though. DeCosta acknowledged that the Ravens are fine with Jackson playing on his fifth-year option, and Jackson seems more focused on the team’s unfinished business after being the AFC’s number one-seed in 2020 but failing to make it to a Super Bowl yet.

Here are a few more notes on the AFC North, starting with another item out of Charm City:

  • DeCosta spoke a bit, as well, about the team’s plan to focus on offensive line this offseason. One of the things that they fear they’ll need to address is the free agency of center Bradley Bozeman. Bozeman moved from guard to center after Matt Skura signed with the Dolphins in free agency last year, and they’re afraid Bozeman’s play has priced him out of Maryland. Baltimore saw Ryan Jensen leave to become the highest paid center in football in 2018, so they’re certainly used to replacing centers. They currently have utility lineman Patrick Mekari, who has started games at all three offensive line positions throughout his young Ravens’ career, and who signed an extension late in the season.
  • Odell Beckham Jr. and Von Miller became close friends as they rehabbed together in Colorado Springs last offseason, dreaming about eventually playing together. According to George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal, Beckham made it clear that if they were to make it a reality, it couldn’t be in orange and brown. Miller informed Thomas that Beckham told him straight up, “Don’t come to Cleveland.” In the end, Miller was traded to the Rams and, following a nasty separation from the Browns, Beckham signed to join him in Los Angeles. The pair are now set to play in Super Bowl LVI against a team Beckham knows all too well from his time in the AFC North.
  • With longtime quarterback Ben Roethlisberger retiring last week, head coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert represented Pittsburgh at Senior Bowl practices this week. Despite the quarterback group leaving much to be desired through some injury concerns and bad weather, Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus reports that buzz around the event is that the Steelers like Liberty quarterback Malik Willis. Willis has shown the best combination of athleticism and arm strength at practices this week and a source informed Kyed that he’s impressed in interviews, as well. The Steelers currently hold the 20th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and could easily see Willis fall to them, as he’s been seen as a borderline first round pick since declaring. They could also risk potentially missing out on him and trade back later in the first round or early in the second and try to maximize need and value.

Ravens, John Harbaugh Nearing Extension

The Ravens are prepared to keep John Harbaugh around into at least the mid-2020s. With the longtime head coach’s contract up after the 2022 season, an extension agreement is expected to commence soon, Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com reports.

Harbaugh signed his current deal in January 2019, shortly after the Ravens completed their Joe Flacco-to-Lamar Jackson transition. The former Super Bowl-winning HC had interestingly spent time on the hot seat shortly before his latest extension, but Jackson helping the team back to the playoffs in 2018 nixed those plans. No talk of a Harbaugh firing came up during the course of his current contract, either.

A new Harbaugh deal should be finalized within the next few weeks, Hensley adds. Although the 59-year-old coach oversaw a rare plummet from an 8-3 record to a playoff absence this season, injuries contributed heavily to that descent. The Ravens have made the playoffs in nine of Harbaugh’s 14 seasons, during which the elder Harbaugh brother is 137-88. With Sean Payton stepping away from his 16-year post earlier Tuesday, Harbaugh is now the NFL’s third-longest-tenured HC — behind Bill Belichick and Mike Tomlin.

Baltimore’s only two losing seasons under Harbaugh came when his starting quarterback missed significant time. Prior to Jackson missing games to close out this season, Flacco suffered a torn ACL during the 2015 campaign. This will be Harbaugh’s sixth Ravens contract. After the team locks down its head coach, Jackson’s contract will re-emerge at the forefront of their offseason plans. Though, the sides still have work to do going into the former MVP’s fifth-year option season.

Harbaugh: Lamar Jackson ‘Going To Get Paid’

It seems like only a matter of time before Lamar Jackson gets a mega-extension. Speaking to the media Wednesday, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh seemed to indicate it’s already set in stone.

Harbaugh was asked whether Jackson would be affected if he didn’t get a new contract before the season starter, to which he replied “absolutely not,” via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

“He’s going to get paid. He knows that. The question becomes what’s his legacy going to be as a QB? The other thing is a done deal,” Harbaugh continued. We heard back in February that the two sides were apparently far apart on financial terms. Reports got better after that, with both Harbaugh and Jackson saying publicly they weren’t concerned.

We’ve since heard that they’ve commenced actual talks, and it sounds like the financial side of things is getting better. Jackson said last month that he isn’t concerned whether an extension happens this year or next.

He’s under contract through the 2022 campaign after the team picked up his fully guaranteed $23.1MM fifth-year salary for that season. After becoming a unanimous MVP a couple years ago Jackson, who currently operates as his own agent, will surely be looking for a payday in line with the league’s other top passers.

Dak Prescott got four years and $160MM back in March, and it’ll be very interesting to see how Jackson’s forthcoming extension compares to that. Either way, don’t anticipate much drama in these talks like there have been with other quarterbacks, as everyone involved continues to insist it’ll be smooth sailing.

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