BALTIMORE (WJZ/BALTIMORE SUN) — Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh will be around a little longer.
Harbaugh, who has led the Ravens to the playoffs in each of his five seasons at the helm, agreed to a four-year contract extension that will make him one of the highest-paid coaches in the NFL, a team source confirmed to WJZ’s media partner, The Baltimore Sun.
The deal was reached “months ago,” according to a source. However, it just surfaced Thursday about an hour before the NFL season opener between the Ravens and the Denver Broncos.
ESPN first reported the deal, with ProFootballTalk.com reporting that the agreement will pay Harbaugh nearly $7 million per season. According to the website, only three coaches are believed to make more than $7 million per year: the New England Patriots’ Bill Belichick, the New Orleans Saints’ Sean Payton and the Kansas City’s Chiefs’ Andy Reid.
Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome declined to comment on the report when approached Thursday.
In 2011, Harbaugh, 50, signed a three-year contract extension worth $4 million per season. However, after the team’s second Super Bowl victory and the first for Harbaugh, the Ravens ripped up the final two years of the deal in favor of the four-year extension. He’s now signed through the 2016 season.
The deal is owner Steve Bisciotti’s latest move to secure the future of core members of the organization. Quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Ray Rice, whose rookie seasons coincided with Harbaugh’s first year as coach, have been rewarded in recent months.
Flacco, the Most Valuable Player of February’s Super Bowl, agreed to a six-year, $120.6 million contract extension in March. Rice, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, signed a five-year, $35 million deal in July 2012.