The Ravens will have to consider what to do with players carrying significant financial hits to the salary cap next year, and Harbaugh said "everything is on the table."
According to Spotrac.com, players such as free safety Lardarius Webb, outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil, center Jeremy Zuttah, wide receiver Mike Wallace, and tight end Dennis Pitta carry contracts that each consumed at least $3 million in cap space this season. Each contract will cost at least $4 million in cap space in 2017, unless the team and players choose to renegotiate those deals.
If the Ravens aren't able to redo deals with certain expensive players, those players could be released. When asked about potential moves, Harbaugh said that would be a better question for general manager Ozzie Newsome and team owner Steve Bisciotti when they meet with the media on Jan. 10.
"I'll probably defer that to Ozzie and to Steve, but everything is on the table," Harbaugh said. "Absolutely everything has to be on the table in terms of how we can improve, and the financial part is a big piece of it."
Help wanted at WR: With Steve Smith Sr. retiring and Kamar Aiken open to testing the free-agent market in March, the organization might need to add depth to its wide receiver corps.
Wallace, Breshad Perriman, Michael Campanaro, and rookie Chris Moore are the only wideouts under contract ont he active roster. Smith and Aiken are both possession receivers, so the Ravens might look to add someone with similar skills. Unrestricted free agents who could be available include the Chicago Bears' Alshon Jeffery, the Washington Redskins' Pierre Garcon, the St. Louis Rams' Kenny Britt, and the Cleveland Browns' Terrelle Pryor.
Harbaugh acknowledged that the team would be interested in signing a veteran who can complement speed threats such as Wallace and Perriman, and give quarterback Joe Flacco a capable pair of hands on intermediate and underneath routes.
"Yes, we need that guy, that type of guy you're talking about," Harbaugh said. "I hate to label 'possession' because I'd like for the guy to be fast and have great body control and great athleticism, and sometimes you say you don't think that's what that means, but we need a certain type of receiver, and I think we're targeting that kind of a guy."
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Calling on J.Smith: Jimmy Smith missed the final three quarters of a 30-23 loss at the New England Patriots and the final three games because of a high right ankle sprain, and the cornerback's absence was felt deeply.
The last four opponents averaged 28.5 points against the Ravens. Rookie Tavon Young, a fourth-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft, emerged as a capable starter, but Harbaugh stressed that the secondary needs a healthy Smith, who has played all 16 games in just twice of six seasons.
"We all kind of know what we need," Harbaugh said of fortifying the secondary. "I don't think it's any mystery about where we need to improve personnel-wise, and that's a key spot. We need Jimmy Smith out there playing for us, and he needs to do whatever he needs to do to stay healthy. He'll have his first healthy offseason this year once he heals from his high ankle sprain. He and I have talked about the level of training that needs to go into this offseason. So I put him at that level, and that's where he needs to be — and healthy through the season. But we need to add more corners, there's no question about it. Corners that can play at the highest level, and if we can do that, that's going to dramatically impact our defense."
End zone: The 2017 campaign will be Harbaugh's 10th as head coach, but he said he did not give much thought to passing Brian Billick as the franchise's longest-tenured coach. "Uh, no," Harbaugh said when asked if he took pride in that accomplishment. "I tell you what I take pride in. I take pride in the relationships that I've just been blessed with in every direction in this organization." … Harbaugh sought to clarify his post-game comments after Sunday's blowout loss in Cincinnati. He said he was not calling out his players for a lack of effort, but pointed out that they were likely suffering from an emotional letdown after having their postseason hopes dashed in a 31-27 loss at the Pittsburgh Steelers on Christmas Day. "I didn't mean to imply that our guys didn't give everything that they had," Harbaugh said. "What I was saying was, I just didn't think our sharpness was there, our edge wasn't there, and I think part of that in reality had to do with the Pittsburgh game. We were coming off a tough game, and if you're a championship team and you play a game like that one week, you've got to come back and you've got to execute the next week well enough to win, and we didn't do that. That's what I was talking about."
Sun reporter Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this article.