The Miami Dolphins are searching for a new head coach and names like Mike Shanahan, Josh McDaniels, Hue Jackson, Mike Smith and Adam Gase could be potential targets. The Dolphins have some major questions heading into 2016, including whether players like Lamar Miller, Olivier Vernon and Rishard Matthews will return in free agency.
The Dolphins fired Joe Philbin as head coach earlier in the season and the team is now looking for his replacement. The team also made moves in the front office by removing Dennis Hickey at general manager and now Chris Grier will take over at the position. According to Pro Football Talk, the team announced the move on Monday and Grier will join executive V.P. of football operations Mike Tannenbaum in the front office.
Tannenbaum is leading the search for a new head coach and the team has already talked with Mike Shanahan and has scheduled a second meeting with the former Broncos coach. According to ESPN.com, Shanahan first spoke with the Dolphins two weeks ago and Adam Schefter reports that Shanahan will meet again with the team on Tuesday. Schefter also reports that the Dolphins have requested interviews with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia of the Patriots.
The Patriots have a first round bye and that would allow the Dolphins to speak with the Patriots assistants. The team then will have to wait until the Patriots are done with the playoffs if they want to speak with the coaches again. Shanahan could be a prime candidate for the job, as he has had past success with the Broncos before going to Washington to coach the Redskins. Shanahan made the playoffs one time with Washington and that was his last coaching job in the league.
ESPN reports that the Dolphins are casting a wide net in the search for a head coach, as names like Teryl Austin and Adam Gase also will be interviewed. The team plans on interviewing interim head coach Dan Campbell along with Jacksonville Jaguars assistant coach Doug Marrone. Gase and Austin have both been getting interest from teams with openings, including the 49ers and the Cleveland Browns.
The Dolphins have some free agency questions coming for the offseason, as players like Lamar Miller, Rishard Matthews and Olivier Vernon will be free agents. Vernon may return, but that could come down to money, as Vernon has put up 18 sacks in the past two seasons and could ask for a long term deal. The Miami Herald reports that the Vernon could ask for about the same deal as Cameron Jordan, who signed a $55 million contract.
Miller had another solid season with the Dolphins and he could be a top target on the free agent market for teams in need of a running back. The Dolphins drafted Jay Ajayi this past year and he could replace Miller if he leaves, but the team likely will try and re-sign the running back. Matthews put up solid numbers before getting injured at the end of the season and he could end up returning to Miami.