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Latest rumors regarding Miami Dolphins head coaching situation

Reports indicate that Jim Harbaugh is at the top of Miami's wish list.
Reports indicate that Jim Harbaugh is at the top of Miami's wish list.

To answer my question from this morning: no, Tuesday is not the day we receive any clarity on the situation in Miami. In fact, if anything, things are as unclear as ever. So let's get to the latest reports (aka the most recent rumors and/or speculation).

While current head coach Tony Sparano is left twisting in the wind, the Dolphins are reportedly reaching out to some potential head coaching candidates. The two names most heavily being considered, according to most reports, are Jim Harbaugh and Bill Cowher.

However it's looking less and less likely that Cowher will be the guy. Reports from multiple sources (yesterday it was Jason La Canfora, today it's Jeff Darlington) claim Bill simply wants too much control. He reportedly would want to clean house in Miami and bring in his own coaching staff and his own personnel people. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, however, wants to keep GM Jeff Ireland and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan at the very least.

So for now, things have cooled on the Cowher front.

Harbaugh seems to be the top target for Ross and the Dolphins. Multiple reports, including this one from the Sun-Sentinel, claim that Harbaugh and the Dolphins have had "exploratory talks" already. But the Dolphins will have heavy competition for Harbaugh's services.

The 49ers reportedly promoted Trent Baalke to general manager. And now Peter King, as well as others, believe that Harbaugh will join Baalke in San Francisco by week's end at the latest. Jason La Canfora adds that Harbaugh is indeed Baalke's primary target.

Others in the media, though, question whether or not Harbaugh would be willing to work with Baalke over, say, Michael Lombardi - who was the other finalist for the GM gig in San Francisco. Local reports do claim that the Niners got Harbaugh's consent before officially promoting Baalke to his new GM position.

If that's true, then all that Ross and the Dolphins could do to lure Harbaugh from the west coast would be to open up their wallets and overpay the man. With a potential lockout looming, I'm no so sure Ross would be willing to do that.

One name that we can cross off the list is Jon Gruden. Jeff Darlington was told by his source that "he is not going to replace Sparano."

As far as a timetable goes, this situation could drag on for quite a bit more. Darlington was told that Ross is "approaching this process with a day-to-day mentality - it is not an hour-to-hour situation." So that means we all should prepare for at least a few more days of rumors and speculation, with anonymous sources being the center of attention.

My two cents

At this point, I'm getting pretty bored of this entire situation. I really don't think it's fair for Ross and the Dolphins to treat Tony Sparano like this. If they want to fire him, then fire him. If not, tell him he's staying for one more season. But making the guy just wait it out is completely ridiculous.

Sparano isn't stupid. He knows he's just their "fall back option." I can only imagine the awkward situation down at the team's facility in Davie right now. Sparano should be pissed. Hell - I'm pissed and it's not my job hanging in the balance.

One thing I really don't understand is why Ross is so committed to Jeff Ireland. I don't see how Sparano is more to blame than Ireland for the team's struggles these past two seasons. They share equal responsibility. If anything, Ireland deserves more of the blame.

Sparano didn't ask for Chad Henne. He didn't ask for Pat White. He didn't sign the numerous free agent disappointments that the team spent money on these past few years. You want to blame him for the mess along the offensive line? That's fair. I blame him for that, too.

But I don't see how Ireland should be a sticking point here - particularly regarding Bill Cowher. If Ros really believes Bill would be an upgrade over Sparano, I don't see how he could pass on him just because he would get rid of Ireland. Is Ireland really worth passing up on a head coach that you see as an upgrade?

I'll end this with a final tweet from Jeff Darlington:

Finally, Miami is still leaving itself open to cleaning house entirely, including Ireland. But Ireland is "most likely safe," source says.

Leaving themselves open to cleaning house? I'd imagine that has to mean Ross is still considering Cowher. And like I said, if he truly feels like Cowher is an upgrade at head coach, I don't see why letting go of Ireland along with Sparano is such an issue.

One thing I think we can all agree on, though, is that this drama needs to come to a conclusion as soon as possible.