Ravens keep John Harbaugh on new four-year contract

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John Harbaugh's tumultuous 2018 season finished in the first round of the NFL playoffs, but the roller-coaster ride wasn't done there.

Now, on Jan. 24, we can finally say this ride has reached its happy ending.

The Ravens have reached a new, four-year contract with Harbaugh, the team announced via Twitter.

"I'm very excited with this contract, the opportunity to continue our work here, and I'm humbled by it," Harbaugh said in a statement released by the team. "I am thankful for the support from the Ravens, especially Steve Bisciotti. We're working hard to make the 2019 Ravens the best we can be. We have an excellent team foundation, and we have a great organization with smart, hard-working people."

Harbaugh was on a rather warm seat for a middle portion of the 2018 season before a switch to Lamar Jackson jump-started Baltimore's offense, leading to a 6-1 finish and AFC North title. Harbaugh deserves a healthy portion of the credit for directing a mid-season shift in offensive philosophy with Jackson at the controls, pivoting to a run-first offense that bashed opponents relentlessly.

Combined with the league's No. 1 defense, the Ravens ground out wins that were as electrifying as they were efficient, with Jackson dazzling onlookers with his rare speed, agility and occasional dime dropped in the hands of a Ravens target.

Harbaugh was criticized in the middle of their wild-card loss to the Chargers for not taking out the rookie, who was clearly overwhelmed by the moment, in favor of veteran Joe Flacco with their season on the line. The coach instead stuck with Jackson, who led an inspiring comeback attempt that fell short simply because it started too late and ran out of time.

That commitment and loyalty to Jackson should pay dividends in their relationship in the coming years. Together, they saved Harbaugh's job and expedited Jackson's ascension to his own. They'll enter 2019 with sights set on even greater achievements, with the doubt of job security no longer looming over them.

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