Anybody else getting tired of this already? Well I'm sure I can think of one person - current (for now) head coach Tony Sparano.
I say "for now" because it's become clear that Sparano is not the guy who owner Stephen Ross and the powers that be really want as the head coach of their football team. As these events continue to unfold, you have got to be wondering if Sparano could still actually come back and coach this football team in 2011.
But allow me to digress. First of all, the here's the latest. The Dolphins clearly have their sights on Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh. While many thought earlier in the day that Harbaugh would end up in San Francisco, it's starting to look like that may not be the case. Harbaugh reportedly met with the Niners for five hours on Wednesday - with no deal completed.
The sticking point? It's believed to be money. And that now opens up a small window of opportunity for the Dolphins. Why? Because Stephen Ross has money.
ESPN is reporting that Ross has flown out to California to meet personally with Harbaugh. Flying out with Ross are Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland and close friend/business partner/former NFL executive Carl Peterson. Jeff Darlington, meanwhile, all but confirms this report - stating that Ross' private jet is on its way from New York City (Teterboro, NJ actually - but I'll let that slide) to an airport 20 miles from Harbaugh's home.
The ESPN report, as well as numerous other sources, are saying that Ross is willing to make Harbaugh the NFL's highest paid head coach. That would mean a deal in the $8 million per year range. So if it's simply a case of money for Harbaugh, then the Dolphins won't likely lose out on their target. Most reports indicate that the Niners are only willing to offer around $5 million annually.
If accurate, that would mean Ross would be spending over $10 million in 2011 in head coaches (Sparano still owed about $3 million).
That's sure a lot of money to give a man with just some head coaching experience at the collegiate level. I'll admit that I've been impressed with what he's done at Stanford and that I've read nothing but great stuff about Jim. But I just can't shake the "Nick Saban" disaster from my mind.
Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News, meanwhile, shares two interesting pieces of information. One, Harbaugh reportedly told SF that he "had to listen to Steve Ross out of respect & would get back to them tomorrow." And two, the Niners have had initial discussions with Josh McDaniels in case Harbaugh does end up in Miami.
Interesting stuff. Perhaps we'll know more later today.
Don't the Dolphins already have a head coach?
I get it - most Dolphin fans don't really care about Tony Sparano's feelings. That's fine. But how he is being treated right now is ridiculous. Not only is the team's owner courting a new head coach - while the current head coach is just left waiting - but now the team's general manager is involved in the courting as well? Does this seem right to you?
Mike Greenberg made an excellent analogy on Wednesday morning, saying that "Tony Sparano is like the guy who’s dating a supermodel, and she is basically telling him on a daily basis, the minute I can figure out a way to do better than you, I’m going to."
Now I'm aware it's the organization's right to go out and find whomever they feel is the best head coach for the job. But what if the Dolphins can't nab Harbaugh, Bill Cowher, or anyone else Stephen Ross feels is an upgrade at head coach? How can Sparano be expected to lead that team after being put in a situation like this? How can he be expected to even find an offensive coordinator who would want to come in to a situation like this, knowing Sparano is probably on his final legs as head coach in 2011?
I just don't see how Tony could go into that locker room and expect to have the full backing of his players after the message was clearly sent from the front office that they don't believe Sparano is the right guy for the job. How can this front office even expect to land free agents if Sparano returns? Don't you think they will be made aware of this situation and shy away from joining a team that clearly doesn't back its head coach?
I think we've reached the point of no return. Even if the Dolphins can't get one of their top targets, I just don't see how in the world Tony Sparano could return as head coach.