The question in the title of this item presumes that the call from the Dolphins to the Ravens hasn’t already been made. There’s a good chance it has, through back channels and intermediaries.
And the question that would be posed to the Ravens is a simple one: What will it take to get John Harbaugh a year before he can walk away without any compensation?
Per a league source, it’s believed that the Dolphins will formally make the call to the Ravens regarding that question, if the Dolphins know in advance that the Ravens won’t ask for too much.
How much is too much? Some think the Ravens would want two first-round picks. Others think the Ravens would be more reasonable than that.
The changes to the Miami front office, with V.P. of football operations Mike Tannenbaum reassigned and Chris Grier made the G.M. and given the keys to the football operation, are being interpreted by some as a move aimed at creating a structure that will attract Harbaugh. Yes, giving him full control over the team would have been even more attractive, but he’s never had that in Baltimore and isn’t going to get it. But Grier has a team-first, no-ego approach that could make him a good partner for a guy like Harbaugh.
So it ultimately comes down to how much the Ravens will offer Harbaugh, how much the Dolphins would offer Harbaugh, and how much the Ravens would want for a guy who can coach out his contract and go anywhere he wants after one more season.
One very real factor in all of this becomes whether and to what extent the Ravens survive and advance in the postseason. With each passing week, it will become harder for the Ravens to let Harbaugh leave, and harder for the Dolphins to keep waiting.
For now, though, it’s a very real possibility.