Dolphins owner Stephen Ross denies he'll pursue Jim Harbaugh as next coach

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The Miami Dolphins appeared to make the most shocking move Monday when they fired head coach Brian Flores. But the assumption that Flores' firing paves the way for Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh to replace Flores isn't correct, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said after announcing Flores' departure.

Ross is a Michigan graduate, where the business school is named after him, and a major donor and supporter of the Wolverines' football program.

These were Ross' first major public comments in nearly two years. So unless Ross is engaging in semantics gymnastics, we have to take him at his word that Harbaugh isn't coming to South Beach. That belief is backed up by a report from ESPN's Jeff Darlington.

More likely, Ross believed that Flores no longer had strong enough relationships with other key players in the organization — we'd assume that includes QB Tua Tagovailoa and general manager Chris Grier.

“I made a decision today to part ways with Brian Flores,” Ross said. “After evaluating where we are as an organization and what we need going forward to improve, I determined that key dynamics of our football organization weren’t functioning at a level I want it to be and felt that this decision was in the best interest of the Miami Dolphins.”

Grier will return. Tagovailoa could, too, although Ross said the next head coach will have say in who the starting quarterback is. It might not be Deshaun Watson now, considering Flores has been let go.

(Michael Wagstaffe/Yahoo Sports)
(Michael Wagstaffe/Yahoo Sports)

That next coach apparently will not be Harbaugh.

If not Harbaugh, then who? Ross said he had no single candidate in mind but that the team will not begin the process in earnest to find Flores' replacement.

Harbaugh also has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the jobs of the Las Vegas Raiders and Chicago Bears. The Raiders made the playoffs following a dramatic overtime win in Week 18 over the Los Angeles Chargers and have yet to announce the fate of interim coach Rich Bisaccia. The Bears fired head coach Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace on Monday.