When the Ravens were 4-5 and fading, players on the team believed that coach John Harbaugh would be fired absent a turnaround that takes the team to the playoffs. Three straight wins later, the Ravens are very much alive for the postseason.
But Harbaugh could still be out.
Per a league source with knowledge of the intricacies of the looming coaching carousel, John Harbaugh currently is viewed as one of the top candidates in the coming searches. Indeed, it’s viewed that John Harbaugh is regarded as being far more desirable than his brother, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, who recently was linked to vacancies in Green Bay and Cleveland.
If John Harbaugh isn’t fired, he can still be in play for a job elsewhere. The new team would contact the Ravens and negotiate compensation in the event Harbaugh is hired. Once an agreement on compensation is reached, the new team would approach Harbaugh directly and negotiate a contract.
While those are the formal nuts and bolts of the process, the reality is that much of the pieces will be put in place via the back channels, with a new team gauging Harbaugh’s interest and financial expectations before approaching the Ravens to negotiate his exit.
Of course, a successful playoff run could complicate things, delaying Harbaugh’s availability and making it awkward, to say the least, for a team to wait for a guy who may not be available at all. Regardless, as teams begin to assemble their wish lists for 2019, John Harbaugh is expected to appear on more than a few.
Which ultimately could make the Ravens decide to keep the guy who has been their head coach since 2008.