Ravens' Harbaugh gets new extension, higher expectations

February 14, 2011|By Matt Vensel

Ravens coach John Harbaugh signed a three-year, $12 million contract extension on Monday morning, ensuring that he will be wearing the head coach's headset through the 2014 season.

Like him or not, it's hard to argue that his new deal wasn't well-deserved. Harbaugh has compiled an impressive 32-16 regular-season record in his three years in Baltimore and took the Ravens on three straight trips to the postseason. He surprisingly coached the Ravens to the AFC championship game in his rookie season but couldn't get them back there in 2009 and 2010.

"[Ravens owner] Steve [Bisciotti] said that we want to make sure John remains as our head coach and we reached a new agreement late last week and Coach signed it this morning," Ravens president Dick Cass said Monday in a statement. "Having John increases our opportunity to compete for the NFL championship every year, which is our goal."

But with this lucrative extension comes the expectation that the Ravens won't just continue to be competitive going forward. Harbaugh will have to lead the Ravens back to the AFC championship game -- and to points beyond -- sometime in the next few years if he wants to extend his stay in Baltimore further.

One win and done will no longer cut it in the postseason, and Harbaugh knows it.

"I'm proud to be part of this," Harbaugh said Monday in a statement. "I said it when I came here: 'It's about the team.' And, we plan to be a championship team."

You have a few years to make it happen, John, so go get yourself a nice, bloody steak and an expensive bottle of red wine tonight. You have certainly earned it.

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