The Jim Harbaugh situation is very much in flux, with the 49ers, Dolphins, the Broncos and yes, his current employer, Stanford, hoping to hire/keep the former NFL quarterback.
It appears the Dolphins have the edge, according to reports, although current Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano hasn't been fired. Or, if he has, there's been no official announcement.
Despite no coaching experience at the NFL level, Harbaugh is expected to fetch a contract valued at more than $7 million per season, and he could wind up being the NFL's highest paid coach before he participates in his first game.
Dolphins owner Steve Ross flew to San Francisco to meet with Harbaugh, who met yesterday for five hours with the 49ers. The swooning over Harbaugh is somewhat understandable, since he's a hot candidate and there are multiple teams after him.
Yet the Dolphins' situation is particularly disappointing at two levels. First of all, if Ross is willing to hire Harbaugh, then he should at least have the decency to fire Sparano instead of leave him hanging. Ross presumably wants to have a fall-back coach in the event he can't get Harbaugh. But what kind of credibility would Sparano have in the locker room if he was brought back, with the players knowing full well the owner wanted to sack him?
The other part we're having trouble with: How does Harbaugh in good conscience interview for a job that isn't officially open? It's professional courtesy that coaches not interview for jobs that aren't officially open, as was the case with the Dolphins. Harbaugh comes off looking sleazy on this one. Should have waited until Sparano got the boot.
PS: This is why Bill Parcells has ALWAYS left a team after an ownership change. Did it with the Giants after Tim Mara sold his share to the Tisch family. Did it with the Patriots when Robert Kraft left the team. Did it when Woody Johnson bought the Jets. And now has done it now that Ross has taken over from Wayne Huizenga.
Won't be long before Ross' buddy Carl Peterson is running the show in Miami. After all, GM Jeff Ireland figures to have his wings clipped in this whole mess. And with Ireland being hand-picked by Parcells, and with Parcells no longer taking an active role in day-to-day operations, it's only a matter of time before he, too, is gone.