By Anthony Caruso III
Posted: February 26, 2014 at 6:45 pm EST
A few days ago, there were confirmed speculation that the Cleveland Browns nearly pulled off a blockbuster deal to get San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh.
The Browns were eventually not able to pull off a trade for Harbaugh, and had to settle for former Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. Yet, there’s a lot of friction between Harbaugh and 49ers general manager Trent Baalke.
The two sides must work together for the rest of this season. And the relationship is expected to end after the 2014 season now matter how good the 49ers season is.
Under Harbaugh, the 49ers have played in three straight NFC Championship games. And the team lost to the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans last year, as Justin Tucker kicked the game-winning field goal.
Once Harbaugh’s relationship with the 49ers is over, the Miami Dolphins are expected to covet Harbaugh. The Dolphins would have to fire head coach Joe Philbin in order to go after Harbaugh.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has long coveted Harbaugh. In fact, Ross went after Harbaugh when he was looking to leave the Stanford Cardinal for a head coaching job within the NFL.
Yet, Ross was so impressed with Harbaugh that he was interested in him while he still had Tony Sparano as his head coach.
Harbaugh has put the 49ers in a great position moving forward with Colin Kaepernick and the other young talented players should he leave. The 49ers have not lost before the NFC Championship game in his three-year tenure with the team.
He has two more years left on his contract after signing a five-year, $25 million dollar contract with the 49ers in January 2011. In his three-years, the 49ers are 36-11 in his three years in the regular season.
In the regular season, the 49ers are averaging 12 wins and 3.6 losses per season under Harbaugh. Yet, he is just 5-3 in the postseason.
The Dolphins may go in a different direction with Philbin after this season should they miss the postseason. The Dolphins have not made the postseason since 2008 under former head coach Tony Sparano.
Philbin is 15-17 in his two-year tenure with the Dolphins as their head coach. The team was 8-8 this season after the distraction of Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito saga since late October through the rest of the season.
Philbin was hired after Sparano was fired in January 2012. In 2011, the Dolphins were 4-9, the worst record in Sparano’s four seasons with the Dolphins.