Preston: Pressure should still be on John Harbaugh despite new four-year deal with Ravens

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The Ravens signed John Harbaugh to a new a four-year contract Thursday, but I wonder if there is a buyout clause for one or two of the final years.

The length of the contract is somewhat risky, but not a big gamble for owner Steve Bisciotti. Despite the new agreement, Harbaugh basically has two years for the Ravens to make significant improvement, and a lot of that depends on the development of rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson.


As Jackson goes, so goes Harbaugh.

If Jackson doesn’t become a franchise-caliber quarterback, then Harbaugh most likely will be let go and the team will move in a new direction.


The announcement on the new contract was expected even though team officials took their time coming to an agreement with Harbaugh, who recently completed his 11th season in Baltimore.

The Ravens finished 10-6, won the AFC North title and showed improvement from 2017. But they lost in the wild-card round of the playoffs in a poor performance against the Los Angeles Chargers, and basically showed they are the best of the average teams in the NFL.

The real question is can Harbaugh take his team to the next level?

Since the Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII at the end of the 2012 season, they have barely won more games than they’ve lost. Most head coaches usually wear out their welcome after about nine or 10 years in one place, but Harbaugh has survived.

He’s got about two years to move this team forward regardless of the new four-year deal.