Report: John Harbaugh feeling the heat in Baltimore

The Baltimore Ravens have lost four of their last five games, the latest defeat coming against their hated rival the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday afternoon.

It also could play a major role in the future of the team as it pertains to longtime coach John Harbaugh.

Report: Pressure is mounting

Citing sources, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Sunday morning before kickoff that pressure is mounting on Harbaugh within the team facility.

Rapoport wrote that a midseason coaching change isn’t expected, but hasn’t been ruled out. The Ravens have a bye this week, giving team brass both a lot to ponder and an extended amount of time to do it.

Jeff Zrebiec, the Ravens writer for The Athletic, called this weekend’s matchup one of the biggest regular-season games of the Harbaugh-Joe Flacco era. The Ravens fell to 4-5 and 1-3 in the AFC North.

This is Harbaugh’s 11th season in Baltimore, and while he has led the team to the playoffs six times and to one Super Bowl victory, the Ravens haven’t been to the playoffs since the 2014 season. Heading into Sunday’s game, Harbaugh was 44-44 in the regular season since 2013.

Harbaugh is coaching for his future

Harbaugh is signed through only this season, so it’s not a surprise that he’s in a win-or-else situation; the surprise would be if the Ravens said goodbye to Harbaugh before the end of the regular season.

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Highest-paid player on every NFL team

Star Lotulelei, Buffalo Bills: $50 Million

  • Position: Defensive tackle
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $18,500,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $3,700,000

Star Lotulelei attended high school and college in Utah, but he was born on the Pacific island nation of Tonga.

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(Photo by Daniel Gluskoter/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

Terron Armstead, New Orleans Saints: $65 Million

  • Position: Left tackle
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $20,880,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $4,176,000

Terron Armstead signed his current five-year, $65 million contract prior to the 2016 season, but he’s failed to start 15 of the Saints’ 32 regular season games since that point.

(Damon Tarver/CSM/REX/Shutterstock)

Stephon Gilmore, New England Patriots: $65 Million

  • Position: Cornerback
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $31,000,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $6,200,000

After five years in Buffalo, Stephon Gilmore jumped ship for the division-rival Patriots prior to last season, earning a trip to the Super Bowl in his first season in New England.

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(Shutterstock)

Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens: $66.4 Million

  • Position: Quarterback
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $44,000,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $14,666,667

Since winning Super Bowl XLVII to cap a successful 2012 season, Flacco has seen his performance decline, with 74 interceptions to just 98 touchdowns.

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(Getty/Rob Carr)

Trumaine Johnson, New York Jets: $72.5 Million

  • Position: Cornerback
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $34,000,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $6,800,000

The Jets — who signed Trumaine Johnson to a five-year $72.5 million contract this offseason — are hoping he returns to his career high in interceptions of seven from 2015 rather than the one and two he logged in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

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(Shutterstock)

Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns: $75.5 Million

  • Position: Wide receiver
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $34,000,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $46,800,000

Jarvis Landry has a lot riding on him to replicate last year’s 112 receptions as he joins a Browns team that went a disappointing 0-16 last year.

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(Brad Penner/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins: $77 Million

  • Position: Quarterback
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $21,500,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $5,375,000

Ryan Tannehill’s 12 interceptions to just 19 touchdowns over 13 games last year could have some Dolphins fans regretting that big contract.

(Vaughn Ridley / Getty Images)

Taylor Lewan, Tennessee Titans: $80 Million

  • Position: Left tackle
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $34,000,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $6,800,000

After being limited to just six starts in his first season, Taylor Lewan has missed just one game in the last three years.

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(©Jason Pohuski/CSM/REX/Shutterstock)

Chandler Jones, Arizona Cardinals: $82.5 Million

  • Position: Defensive end
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $31,000,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $6,200,000

Chandler Jones is an elite pass rusher, with more than 40 sacks over the last three seasons in New England and Arizona.

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(Michael Ainsworth/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers: $83,250,000

  • Position: Quarterback
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $37,500,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $9,375,000

Part of the legendary 2004 quarterback draft class that also included Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers eclipsed 50,000 career passing yards late last season.

Watch: The Cost of the Chargers’ Move to LA

(Jeff Gross / Getty Images)

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings: $84 Million

  • Position: Quarterback
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $84,000,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $28,000,000

Kirk Cousins came to Minnesota on a short three-year deal, but all $84 million in it is guaranteed. And his millions will likely last him — Cousins is one of the best NFL players when it comes to money.

(Jim Mone/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers: $87.4 Million

  • Position: Quarterback
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $34,250,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $8,562,500

Ben Roethlisberger is still playing on a four-year, $87.4 million contract he signed that keeps him in the Steel City through 2019.

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(Andy Lyons / Getty Images)

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks: $87.6 Million

  • Position: Quarterback
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $31,700,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $7,925,000

Wilson tied his career high of 34 touchdown passes last season.

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(Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)

Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants: $90 Million

  • Position: Wide receiver
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $40,959,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $8,191,800

The ink might not yet be dry on the five-year extension Odell Beckham Jr. signed with the Giants just before the season started.

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(Brad Penner/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

Alex Smith, Washington Redskins: $94 Million

  • Position: Quarterback
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $55,000,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $13,750,000

In this instance, Mr. Smith went to Washington via an offseason trade after leading the Chiefs to 50 wins during his five seasons in Kansas City.

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(Rick Scuteri/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

Marcell Dareus, Jacksonville Jaguars: $95.1 Million

  • Position: Defensive tackle
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $42,900,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $7,150,000

Marcell Dareus parlayed his 10-sack performance in 2014 into his current six-year $96.6 million deal, but the league might have gotten wise since then — he’s only managed 5.5 sacks since signing the deal.

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(Winslow Townson/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $95.2 Million

  • Position: Defensive tackle
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $14,757,308
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $2,108,187

Gerald McCoy — who has been a Buc since they selected him third overall in the 2010 draft — needs only one and a half sacks this year to reach 50 for his career.

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(Cliff McBride / Getty Images)

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals: $96 Million

  • Position: Quarterback
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $17,000,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $2,833,333

Andy Dalton might be the focus of some ire from Bengals fans, but it’s worth noting that the team is 64-44-2 since 2011 when he’s under center.

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(Andy Lyons / Getty Images)

Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys: $97.6 Million

  • Position: Left tackle
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $22,118,013
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $2,764,752

Tyron Smith signed his eight-year, $97.6 million contract prior to this season, but he can opt out after next season and test free agency.

That Other Famous Dallas Cowboy: See How Much Tony Romo Is Worth

(Michael Ainsworth/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

J.J. Watt, Houston Texans: $100 Million

  • Position: Defensive end
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $20,876,385
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $3,479,398

The nearly $21 million guaranteed for Watt is dwarfed by the $41.6 million he helped raise for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, the biggest crowd-sourced fundraiser in history.

(Scott Halleran / Getty Images)

Justin Houston, Kansas City Chiefs: $101 Million

  • Position: Outside linebacker
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $32,500,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $5,416,667

Justin Houston’s 69.5 career sacks have to sting for Browns fans: They traded the Chiefs the pick they selected him with to grab Phil Taylor and his seven career sacks.

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(Gregory Shamus / Getty Images)

Fletcher Cox, Philadelphia Eagles: $102.6 Million

  • Position: Defensive tackle
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $36,299,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $6,049,833

The Eagles had the fourth-ranked defense last year en route to their Super Bowl championship.

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(AP/REX/Shutterstock)

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers: $103.8 Million

  • Position: Quarterback
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $41,000,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $8,200,000

Cam Newton has the chance to opt out of his current contract at the end of the season, leaving him with a decision about whether he should test free agency for an even bigger deal in 2019.

(Streeter Lecka / Getty Images)

Von Miller, Denver Broncos: $114.5 Million

  • Position: Outside linebacker
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $42,000,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $7,000,000

Von Miller’s huge deal — signed in July 2016 — came on the heels of the team winning the Super Bowl behind its strong defense.

(Getty)

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts: $122,970,000

  • Position: Quarterback
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $47,000,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $9,400,000

Andrew Luck recently revealed that the shoulder injury that kept him from playing a down last season could be traced back to a snowboarding accident in 2016.

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(Getty)

Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders: $125,025,000

  • Position: Quarterback
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $40,000,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $8,000,000

Derek Carr signed his five-year, $125 million deal in June 2017 — the same year he saw his play regress with more than double the interceptions of the year prior.

(Getty)

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers: $134 Million

  • Position: Quarterback
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $78,700,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $19,675,000

Aaron Rodgers is looking to put the Packers back in the playoffs after missing nine games last season.

(Getty)

Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams: $135 Million

  • Position: Defensive end
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $50,000,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $8,333,333

Aaron Donald’s $135 million deal came after 18 months of negotiations and a holdout over the preseason for the star defensive tackle.

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(John Pyle/CSM/REX/Shutterstock)

Matt Stafford, Detroit Lions: $135 Million

  • Position: Quarterback
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $60,500,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $12,100,000

The highest-paid player on the Lions, Matt Stafford was a childhood friend of Clayton Kershaw, baseball’s highest-paid pitcher.

(Getty)

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers: $137 Million

  • Position: Quarterback
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $48,700,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $9,740,000

Traded from the Patriots on Halloween in 2017, Garoppolo was “spooky” good over five starts for the Niners that year, prompting a big contract in the offseason.

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(John Mersits/CSM/REX/Shutterstock)

Khalil Mack, Chicago Bears: $141 Million

  • Position: Outside linebacker
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $60,000,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $10,000,000

Up until Sept. 1, 2018, Khalil Mack was the highest-paid player on the Raiders, but a trade to Chicago has him in a Bear uniform now.

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(Jeffrey Phelps/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons: $150 Million

  • Position: Quarterback
  • Total Guaranteed at Signing: $94,500,000
  • Avg. Guarantee/Year: $18,900,000

Matt Ryan failed to bounce back from the devastating loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl LI in 2017, throwing just 20 touchdowns to 12 interceptions.

(Getty)

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Now that Eric DeCosta is finally taking over the general manager reins from Ozzie Newsome, who formally retires at the end of this season, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see DeCosta make his first big move to put his stamp on the organization and hire a new head coach in 2019.

Add in another punishment for the franchise after running afoul of NFL rules for the third time in three years — in September, the league found that the Ravens had multiple players with in-helmet headsets on the field at the same time during preseason games — and it might be time to make a change.

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti admitted earlier this year that he considered parting ways with Harbaugh after the 2017 season, which saw Baltimore finish over .500 (9-7) for the first time in three years, but still short of a postseason berth.

Defense strong, Lamar Jackson lagging

The Ravens’ defense is once again one of the better ones in the NFL, topping the league in both points allowed (17.1 per game) and yards allowed (293.8 per game). But Baltimore is middle-of-the-pack offensively, with a nearly non-existent ground game.

Also worth noting: the Ravens aren’t winning close games. They haven’t won a game decided by six points or less since Week 15 of the 2016 season, against the Eagles.

One last issue Rapoport noted: there’s internal frustration at the development of rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson, namely that it hasn’t been happening fast enough.

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