Ravens

Quick Links

Ravens' Harbaugh not worried about job security after loss to Steelers

harbaugh-steelers.png
AP Images

Ravens' Harbaugh not worried about job security after loss to Steelers

As the Baltimore Ravens enter their bye week 4-5, sitting third in the AFC North and having now lost three in a row, their week off will be spent answering several tough questions.

One of the biggest and toughest ones has to do with their head coach of 11 years. 

John Harbaugh has led the Ravens to the playoffs six of his 10 full seasons, and of course in 2012, coached his team to winning Super Bowl XLVII. But the Ravens haven't seen the postseason since 2014, and with a loss against the Cincinnati Bengals come Week 11, the playoffs once again look to be in the rearview mirror.

The bye week could bring the end of an era. Or it could not.

After his teams 23-16 loss Sunday to the Steelers Sunday in what was considered a must-win game, Harbaugh was asked about the possibility of being relieved of his coaching duties sometime in the next week. 

"I've never been someone who's worried about keeping a job," Harbaugh said. "It's always been, for me, [about] doing the job. I've got a bunch of great coaches and a bunch of great players that bust their tails every day to do the best job they can. I feel really good about the way this team has been coached for the last 11 years, and for the last number of weeks we've been in the season. So, there are no regrets. Never been any regrets here with me."

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, in February at his annual State of the Ravens press conference, was asked why there were no coaching changes made after the Ravens' heartbreaking, last second Week 17 loss to the Bengals that knocked them out of the playoffs. 

"I’m not going to give a ‘playoff or bust’ edict to you all, or to my coach," Bisciotti said at the time. "He’s under as much pressure, probably, than he’s ever been in his life, and I expect him to keep his chin up and take his positivity and his talents and make the most of this season. I may as well replace him now if I’m going to tell him, ‘Make the playoffs or you’re out of town next year.’ That’s just not the way to run a business.”

Ravens players stood by Harbaugh, telling reporters after the loss that they didn't think there needed to be a personnel change.

"No, I don't. We have a lot of confidence in what we can do as a team," Joe Flacco said.

"There are a lot of teams out there that aren't quite in the position that they want to be in; we're just one of them. Obviously, the name of the game in this league is winning football games, and there is always going to be pressure internally and externally when you're not winning games like you want to. We understand that, and we just have to do more." 

When asked about the report of Harbaugh being on the hot seat, linebacker C.J. Mosley responded with, "Let's not worry about that."

The wound of a division loss, especially to the Steelers, is still very fresh. Both Harbaugh and players noted that their bye week will be spent getting mentally, and physically, back on track. And while Harbaugh's future could be in jeopardy, the head coach remains focused on his future with this team.

"We'll keep fighting, and that's what we'll do," he said. 

MORE RAVENS NEWS:

Quick Links

Breaking down the Jalen Ramsey question and what it could mean for the Ravens secondary

Breaking down the Jalen Ramsey question and what it could mean for the Ravens secondary

If there’s one thing that’s obvious about the Jalen Ramsey situation in Jacksonville, it’s that there are 31 other teams that would like to have him on the team. 

Yes, that includes the Ravens. It’s not breaking news to think every team in the NFL is looking for a former All-Pro cornerback any way they can get him.

Two Ravens players, Matthew Judon and Marquise Brown, already tweeted their desire to bring Ramsey to Baltimore.

The logistics of adding him, however, are a completely separate issue. 

Ramsey, a 2016 first-round pick of the Jaguars, recently requested a trade. He’s reportedly unhappy with his usage in the Jaguars defense and had a spat with his head coach, Doug Marrone, on the sideline last Sunday against the Texans. 

According to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, two offers have already been made for Ramsey’s services.

From the Ravens perspective, there’s both pros and cons to what this deal could mean. 

Starting with the positives, it’s clear: Ramsey is one of, if not the game’s best cornerbacks. Adding him to a secondary already with Marlon Humphrey on the opposite side of the field, and Earl Thomas and Tony Jefferson at safety, would clearly give the Ravens the best secondary in the NFL — if they didn’t have it already. 

Without slot cornerback Tavon Young for the season and Jimmy Smith for a few weeks, the Ravens have been pressed deeper than they thought they might have to go with those two absent. Ramsey would come in and immediately fill a hole left behind from injuries. 

Ramsey is still under his rookie contract for this and next season, where he’ll carry a cap hit of 7.429 million dollars this season according to Spotrac. Next year, his final year, he’ll have a cap hit of 13.7 million dollars.

The Ravens have 9.625 million dollars in cap space this season, also according to Spotrac. Meaning, they’d be able to fit him in, should they so desire. Next season, they’re projected to have the ninth-most cap space available in the NFL at 68.127 million dollars. 

With 10 projected draft picks next year, including two-third round picks and three-fourth round picks, the Ravens will have the ammunition necessary to acquire a player like Ramsey. And in a conference with the Chiefs, Patriots and Browns, all of whom boast outstanding offensive weapons, building out the defensive side of the ball could push the Ravens over the edge. 

Baltimore has free agents to take care of at season’s end, like Michael Pierce, Willie Snead, Patrick Onwuasor, Matthew Judon, Patrick Ricard and Jimmy Smith. 

None of those names, however, will command top-dollar in the open market. And with Lamar Jackson still on his rookie deal for this season and potentially three more after this, the time to strike for the Ravens could be now. 

But, like all trade scenarios, there’s another side to Ramsey’s potential acquisition. 

Ramsey has stated his desire to be a lockdown, No. 1 cornerback responsible for shutting down opposing team’s top receivers. The Ravens already have a bonafide top corner in Humphrey, and if the team uses its fifth-year option on him, he won’t have to be re-signed until 2021.

Ronnie Stanley is the biggest fish that the Ravens have to sign, and he’s due after the 2020 season — the same season as Ramsey. Locking up Stanley and Ramsey could prove to be tough, especially considering the fact that both would be at or near the top of the pay-grade for their respective position groups. 

And, for better or worse, Ramsey has been known to be vocal about what he sees on the field and in the organization. 

That could mean a proclamation about how well the defense is playing as a way of being a leader, or it could mean lashing out when things go poorly. Like he showed last week against the Texans, he’s not shy about telling the man in charge about how he feels. Could that be pent up frustration boiling over? Absolutely. But the Ravens will have to be careful with what they decide, considering that past.

They’ve had boisterous personalities before in Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs, so the franchise isn’t foreign to what those players bring. 

Even if the Ravens view Ramsey as their top option and would like to make a deal, the Jaguars need to be pleased with the compensation they receive. The Ravens might not be willing to go that far. 

Jacksonville has reportedly been asking for a first-round pick, plus more. The Ravens do have a 2020 first-round pick, but might not be willing to sell off what could end up being another second or third-round pick, or even their 2021 first-round pick. 

Even if the Ravens offer their 2020 first-round pick, at 2-0 already, there’s a decent shot the Ravens pick 20th or higher in the first round. The Jaguars could accept a trade from another team, who they view as having a better chance of picking towards the top of the first round in the next few years. 

So what does all that mean? It means to remain level-headed, whether or not the move gets done. 

Should the Ravens pull the trigger on one of the biggest moves of the 2019 season, or should they sit on the sidelines and keep their picks, there are pros and cons to each decision. The trade, or lack thereof, doesn’t mean the Ravens will win the AFC or mean they’re doomed.

It just means they’ll either have Jalen Ramsey, or they won’t.

MORE RAVENS NEWS:

Quick Links

Hollywood Brown tweets at Jalen Ramsey in support of Jaguars CB joining Ravens

Hollywood Brown tweets at Jalen Ramsey in support of Jaguars CB joining Ravens

Marquise Brown has made it clear what he thinks of Jalen Ramsey's reported trade request out of Jacksonville. 

On Tuesday morning, Brown tweeted at Ramsey in support of the All-Pro cornerback joining the Ravens.

Ramsey, a 2016 first-round in Jacksonville, quickly established himself as one of the best cornerbacks in the league and was named All-Pro in just his second season. 

Reportedly, the Jaguars are looking for at least one first round pick in return for Ramsey. And after the Steelers traded a first round pick for Minkah Fitzpatrick, there's good reason to think the Jaguars wouldn't settle for less than that. 

Things are ramping up so quickly, as he had an incident on the sideline last Sunday while the team was in Houston. Video caught Ramsey and Jaguars coach Doug Marrone exchanging words on the sideline, and both had to be separated. 

Whether or not the trade would fit for the Ravens and their organization remains to be seen, as does if the compensation required for Ramsey is worth it. 

On the Ravens side, the need is there. Slot cornerback Tavon Young is out for the season with a neck injury and Jimmy Smith is out for a few weeks with an MCL sprain.

Either way, there's already at least one Ravens player with bringing Ramsey along.

MORE RAVENS NEWS: