Well, according to multiple national media reports, my source earlier today was…wrong. The Miami Dolphins apparently are pulling out of the Jim Harbaugh derby and sticking with Tony Sparano for the 2011 season.
Earlier this afternoon, I reported that a source I have indicated that Ross and Harbaugh had agreed in principal on a deal that would pay the Stanford HC somewhere in the neighborhood of 7.5 million and that Tony Sparano had been informed that he would be fired. That source is apparently wrong in his information. It happens. His information was strong enough that I ran with it and that’s what happens when you play in this business.
According to ESPN the Dolphins have pulled out of the JH derby and will keep their embattled HC for the final year of his contract. The Dolphins have apparently failed to acquire three HC’s in the last 4 days including Harbaugh, Jon Gruden, and Bill Cowher.
Earlier today, Sparano met with OC Dan Henning and the two sides “mutually” agreed to part company. The Dolphins will now be on the hunt for a new OC. The questions that remain is how Tony Sparano will approach next season with the negative atmosphere surrounding his tenure. Both Ricky Williams and former Dolphins Jason Taylor have spoken out publicly against Sparano’s coaching style.
Sparano has been all but removed from his job this week.
The fact that the Dolphins will retain Sparano, and it appears that this will be the case, sheds no light on what has been going on for the last few days. Stephen Ross has galloped to California where he met with Harbaugh and still kept his incumbent HC sitting on thin ice. The black-eye that Ross and the organization have taken this week will give way to memory, but the fact that Sparano will likely be a “lame duck” coach won’t sit well with the thousands of ticket holders.
Stephen Ross’ first priority was to sell seats. Tony Sparano is not going to instill confidence in those renewals. Right or wrong.