Undecided about potential changes 10 days ago, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has made at least one decision regarding the future of his team.
Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports that Ross is “all but certain to dismiss” V.P. of football operations Mike Tannenbaum, who has spent four seasons with the team.
But that very well could be the only change Ross makes. Salguero also reports that, “barring some unexpected circumstance,” coach Adam Gase and G.M. Chris Grier will return in 2019. The unexpected circumstance would entail something like: (1) the Dolphins performing poorly again in Week 17 against the Bills; and (2) a “significant upgrade becoming available” at coach.
While Ross won’t pursue Jim Harbaugh, who currently is the coach at the college to which Ross has given enough money to get a building named after himself, Ross is believed to be very interested in Jim’s brother, John, and that Ross could attempt to initiate conversations with the Ravens about what would be, as a practical matter, a trade. With John Harbaugh under contract for only one more year and potentially willing to not sign an extension, Ross could possibly pry Harbaugh away.
It will take money, especially with Seahawks coach Pete Carroll now reportedly making $11 million per year. Beyond that, the full power over the football operations currently possessed by Gase would be attractive to any coach who currently doesn’t have it — and John Harbaugh currently doesn’t have it in Baltimore.
Even if Ross keeps Gase, Salguero suggests that Gase should be offered a contract extension that would bump up his $5 million annual salary but also reduce his influence, balancing his voice with someone else who would be able to tell Gase “no” when Gase wants to trade a Jarvis Landry or a Mike Pouncey or a Jay Ajayi, for example, or to keep a Ryan Tannehill. Of course, there’s a chance Gase may not want to give up his current authority, which could provoke a showdown that could become an “unexpected circumstance” that would pave the way for a bigger change in Miami.