Ross and Harbaugh’s camp have had exploratory talks to determine if they are a good fit for one another. However, this doesn’t mean Sparano’s on his way out.
It doesn’t appear Ross is ready to throw back his 10-pound fish unless he’s caught a 16-pounder.
So what’s Harbaugh to do if the Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers all present a promise ring, producing the offers and necessary salary for him to take over their franchise? Which job is better?
Harbaugh has known Ross for more than a decade because of their Michigan ties. He’s also known General Manager Jeff Ireland
since his playing days with the Bears, where Ireland served as a ball boy for the team. In his two seasons as the Dolphins’ majority owner Ross has proven he’s willing spend whatever is necessary to put together a winner.
Let’s take off the aqua-colored glasses so we can investigate all three franchises from four different aspects that usually impact these decisions.
Denver recently named former Stanford quarterback John Elway the team’s executive vice president of football operations. While Elway has a connection with Harbaugh, who played in his era, this is his first time as the grocery shopper in the NFL. The Broncos have traded away plenty of talent the past few seasons, and they haven’t been a mover and shaker in free agency for a while now.
The 49ers have had an unstable ownership situation for a couple of years. Team president Jeb York is presently calling the shots, and he named Trent Baalke the team’s general manager yesterday. Baalke, who shares an agent with Harbaugh, became a regional scout with the organization six years ago and climbed his way up the personnel ranks. However, in this situations it would be wise for Harbaugh to gain final say in personnel moves because of Baalke’s inexperience.