Some believe Baltimore Ravens want to retain John Harbaugh long enough to trade him this offseason, sources tell FanSided.
Baltimore is attempting to reach the playoffs for the second time since winning the Super Bowl since 2012, but that might not keep John Harbaugh in Charm City.
Multiple sources said they were surprised when the Ravens announced they would retain Harbaugh for next season and now believe the team is keeping Harbaugh in hopes of trading him this offseason. Currently, Harbaugh is under contract for one more season at $8 million. Should he be dealt, the frontrunners are the Miami Dolphins, who would be moving on from Adam Gase after three seasons in that case.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is said to be enamored with John Harbaugh and his brother Jim. Ross interviewed Jim Harbaugh in 2011. However, Ross has already said publicly that he will not pursue Jim because Jim now coaches the University of Michigan. Michigan is Ross’ alma mater and taking the head coach from his alma mater would be problematic for Ross.
Sources said the Ravens are growing tired of Harbaugh meddling in front office decisions. Since the retirement of general manager Ozzie Newsome, Harbaugh has increasingly offered his opinion on personnel matters. The Ravens have always tried to maintain a separation between the personnel and coaching staffs.
Despite all of that, one source said he wouldn’t be surprised if owner Steve Bisciotti told Harbaugh and the personnel department to work through the problems.
Should the Ravens move on from Harbaugh, it’s unclear who his successor would be. The incoming coaching class is nothing special and the Baltimore staff doesn’t have an up-and-coming star who would make for a smooth transition.
As for Miami, the Dolphins are clearly moving into their next phase. After years of trying to make Ryan Tannehill into a franchise quarterback, the franchise is expected to have a new coach next season and may also let go of Gase if there’s a better alternative. If Miami doesn’t go with a rookie signal-caller in the draft, could Harbaugh and Joe Flacco reunite in South Beach? One wonders.
For now, though, the intrigue lies with Harbaugh and what the Ravens decide to do with him. The team and the coach are expected to talk about a new contract on Monday.