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Peter King: A “real chance” that John Harbaugh doesn’t sign an extension with Ravens

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Could he be on his way out of Baltimore in 2020?

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NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Los Angeles Chargers Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

After coming off of arguably his most important victory this season, there is a “real chance” that Ravens head John Harbaugh doesn’t sign an extension with the team. Peter King discussed Harbaugh’s possible departure after next season in his latest Football Morning in America column.

“There’s a real chance that Harbaugh, 56, will not sign an extension, but rather coach his final season and take his chance on the market in 2020—or sign back with the Ravens,” King wrote.

King compares the situation to Joe Flacco’s contract situation in 2012. Flacco famously won Super Bowl MVP and parlayed his playoff performance into a $120 million contract.

The head coach is in his 11th year with the Ravens and has garnered a great deal of success. Since taking over in 2008, Harbaugh has a 103-72 (.589) record in the regular season and a 10-5 record (.667) in the playoffs. Adding in a Super Bowl win during the 2012 campaign, Harbaugh would’ve likely been a hot commodity in coaching searches this offseason.

The Green Bay Packers recently fired Mike McCarthy and the Cleveland Browns did the same with Hue Jackson. Other jobs that could also be open are the Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals and the Miami Dolphins.

He was also included in the discussion as being USC’s top target before current head coach Clay Helton was given a vote of confidence by athletic director Lynn Swann.

Down the line with other coaching positions becoming available in a year or two, Harbaugh could figure to head to the college ranks, as his brother Jim Harbaugh did in 2015 when he became Michigan’s head coach. The elder Harbaugh reportedly makes $7 million a season with the Ravens and the younger one makes around the same figure at Michigan.

With Nick Saban making $8.3 million at Alabama — and at one point, making $11 million — a marquee college football program could pay Harbaugh more to go down a level. However, with Bill Belichick, Jon Gruden, Pete Carroll, Sean Payton, Ron Rivera and Andy Reid making $7.75 million or more, Harbaugh could lock in with another NFL team for years to come.

There is always a possibility that Harbaugh could sign an extension with the Ravens. Ensuing the 2017 season, Harbaugh received another year on his deal to right the ship after missing the postseason for three consecutive years. With Baltimore rolling with a 5-1 record after the bye week and seeing success from Lamar Jackson early on, they may attempt to give Harbaugh long-term security within the organization.

The Ravens are currently 9-6 and are first in the AFC North.