The Miami Dolphins shocked the football world on Monday, firing head coach Brian Flores after two consecutive winning seasons.
For many, the decision to move off the highly-respected defensive mind was yet another blunder for the Fins under embattled owner Stephen Ross.
However, there’s now reports coming out of South Beach suggesting that Flores’ firing was all about a power struggle between the head coach and general manager Chris Grier.
“Deshaun Watson wanted to go to Miami because of Brian Flores,” NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport noted Monday. “The Tua (Tagovailoa) situation was definitely part of this.”
Rapoport also indicated Flores and Grier were working on their relationship as late as last month and that “Stephen Ross decided the coach was the problem and not the general manager.”
There’s going to be a lot of talk about the Miami Dolphins’ firing Brian Flores as the team now searches for his replacement. Below, we look at three eye-opening takeaways from the shocking decision.
Stephen Ross could very well be the Miami Dolphins’ issue
Since taking over as the Dolphins’ owner from Wayne Huizenga back in January of 2009, Ross has overseen an organization that continues to remain irrelevant on the broader NFL stage. In his 13 seasons as owner, the Dolphins have earned exactly one playoff appearance. This same span has seen them go through five full-time head coaches and an interim head coach.
That’s indicative of just how much Miami has struggld under the leadership of the real estate developer. He’s the one common denominator here.
Moving off a head coach who posted two consecutive winning seasons for an organization with only two similar finishes in the 13 years prior to his arrival just isn’t a good look. Given that Ross got involved in the spat between Flores and Grier tells us that he was a driving force behind this abrupt firing.
Things now change big time for Deshaun Watson
Ahead of the November NFL trade deadline it was reported that the Miami Dolphins found themselves close to acquiring Watson in a trade with the Houston Texans.
Ross himself wanted to meet with Watson and discuss his legal situation. Remember, the Pro Bowler is facing allegations of sexual misconduct from north of 20 women. Once said meeting didn’t take place, Miami shut the door on this possibility.
As recent as mid-November, other reports indicated that Miami was still going to have interest in Deshaun Watson once the off-season started. We’re not seeing that right now based on the information coming out of Florida following the Flores firing.
Now, a new favorite might emerge for Watson should his legal situation be settled. It stands to reason that rumors regarding Flores’ next landing spot would also be linked to Watson himself. It’s also more likely than not that Flores will receive interest as a head coach with multiple openings after Black Monday.
The Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos come to mind first. Both have vacancies and could very well use an upgrade at quarterback. Don’t ignore this backstory.
Will qualified head coaches be interested in the Miami Dolphins?
It’s safe to say Miami will cast a wide net in its search for yet another head coach. Following the firing of Flores, the team requested to interview Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, among others.
However, there’s a larger question in play here. Knowing the aforementioned history of these Dolphins under Ross, will qualified candidates spurn the Dolphins? There’s certainly some reason to believe they won’t be.
We’ve seen candidates avoid other teams in the past, only to re-enter the head-coach conversation the following cycle. That is to say, waiting another year until a better situation presents itself.
Right now, it’s not an overraction to say that the Miami Dolphins’ head coach vacancy is the least-desirable around the NFL right now. That could lead to Ross and Co. rueing the day they opted to move off Flores for a “better” option.