Sports columnist Mike Preston talks about the contract extension the Ravens announced for head coach John Harbaugh. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti added another year to coach John Harbaugh's contract Monday, extending him through the 2019 season.
The team announced the extension Monday. Neither Bisciotti nor Harbaugh was immediately available to comment. Terms of the extension were not disclosed.
Harbaugh had been signed for two more years before Bisciotti added a year to his contract Monday. It's at least the third time since Harbaugh signed a multiyear deal before the 2013 season that the Ravens have added a year onto his deal. It happened after the 8-8 season in 2013 and after the 2015 campaign when the Ravens went 5-11.
Harbaugh, 54, is preparing for his 10th season at the helm of the Ravens. The team made the playoffs and won at least one postseason game in each of his first five seasons, including winning Super Bowl XLVII after the 2012 regular season.
The Ravens, though, have missed the playoffs two consecutive years and three of their past four, and they are 31-33 in the regular season since the Super Bowl victory.
Bisciotti and the team's top decision-makers have repeatedly backed Harbaugh, and there was no indication he was coaching for his job this season. However, if the Ravens struggle this year and miss out on the playoffs, the outside speculation about Harbaugh's status surely would have picked up.
News of the one-year extension comes during a difficult couple of months for the team as it prepares for the start of the regular season. The Ravens have lost 10 players to either season-ending injuries, suspensions or retirements since June 1. Quarterback Joe Flacco has also yet to practice this summer, though Harbaugh has been adamant that the veteran will play in the Sept.10 opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.
When the Ravens added a year on Harbaugh's contract on the two previous occasions, there was no official announcement. That they make the announcement Monday certainly qualifies as a public display of support at a time when the fan base has expressed plenty of angst about the offense's struggles in preseason and the rash of injuries.
However, it isn't clear whether it necessarily changes anything about Harbaugh's status. Bisciotti fired Brian Billick after a 5-11 season in 2007 despite the fact that Billick still had three years remaining on his contract. Bisciotti, though, has a much closer relationship to Harbaugh than he had with Billick.
Bisciotti acknowledged after last season that the "pitchforks are out" because of the team's recent struggles.
Harbaugh is the sixth-longest-tenured coach in the NFL, behind the New England Patriots' Bill Belichick (17 seasons), Bengals' Marvin Lewis (15), Green Bay Packers' Mike McCarthy (12), New Orleans Saints' Sean Payton (12) and Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Tomlin (11).
Harbaugh's regular-season record over nine seasons is 85-59, and he's won 10 of 15 playoff games. His .590 winning percentage is the best in franchise history and the seventh best among active NFL coaches.
He was the only coach to win a postseason game in his first five NFL seasons, and his 10 playoff victories since 2010 are the second most in the league, trailing just the Patriots who have 11.
The Ravens have the fourth-most total victories in the NFL since Harbaugh took over from Billick in 2008.