By Will Brinson
The Dolphins lost to the Eagles on Sunday, falling 26-10 in South Beach for just their second loss in the last six games. But the effort reportedly won't be enough, as there are rumblings out of Miami that Sparano will still be fired at the end of the year.
That's according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, who reported on Sunday afternoon that as of right now, Sparano is out at the end of the season, though GM Jeff Ireland is currently slated to stay on with the franchise.
Per Salguero, the team is "adamant no final decision has been made" regarding Sparano's future, but the reality is that they do intend to let the coach go following the season.
The logic behind canning Sparano and keeping Ireland is pretty obvious: owner Stephen Ross believes the roster's chock-full of talent (thanks to Ireland's assembly) but has been underachieving (thanks to Sparano's coaching).
What's interesting about this, though, is that if Ross truly wants to chase a big-name coach in the offseason, he may face an issue with personnel control. It's believed that Ross would love to land either Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden in Miami, but both guys might demand more personnel control than what's offered if the team's under Ireland's control.
There are plenty of other candidates out there that won't demand control over what players are on the roster, of course, so it's not like Ross can't land a good candidate this offseason, provided he knows what he's looking for.
The real key may be whether or not Ireland believes that Matt Moore is the quarterback of the future as that will change the way Miami approaches the draft and free agency with respect to the availability of signal callers.
And, of course, if they think Moore's the guy, he actually needs to be the guy.