Rewarded with a four-year contract extension this offseason that became public last week, Ravens coach John Harbaugh expressed gratitude to owner Steve Bisciotti and the entire organization for placing their confidence in him.

Harbaugh is coming off a victory in Super Bowl XLVII and five consecutive winning seasons, making the playoffs each year since his arrival.

The contract is in the $6 million annual range, according to a source.

"It's an honor to be coaching here," said Harbaugh in his first comments on his contract since the news broke Thursday night prior to a 49-27 loss to the Denver Broncos. 

"It's an honor to be a coach in the National Football League. To be able to do it with the Baltimore Ravens, it's a dream come true. It's beyond what you even hope for. I'm just so grateful to Steve and [general manager Ozzie Newsome], [team president Dick Cass], [senior vice president of public and community relations Kevin Byrne]  and everybody in this organization, top to bottom and sideways, that makes coming to work each day such a treasured thing for us."

Harbaugh is now of the highest-compensated coaches in the NFL, according to Forbes rankings.

His deal falls below New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton ($8  million), New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick ($7.5 million), Kansas City  Chiefs coach Andy Reid ($7.5 million) and Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll  ($7 million).

"Something like this is a team thing," Harbaugh said. "Anytime a player has an opportunity to sign or extend a contract to come here, it's because it's a team effort. Coaches have done a great job, players have done a great job. I would like to think it benefits everybody here that's part of our team. I'm very excited about it and ready to move on and prove that decision to be the right one."

awilson@baltsun.com

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