Report: Miami closing in on Harbaugh

This morning, San Jose Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami, citing an NFL source, tweeted “Indications are that Jim Harbaugh will accept Miami’s huge offer.”

As Kawakami notes, a few things have to happen before Harbaugh signs a contract.

For starters, there is the matter of the Dolphins coach Tony Sparano, who has yet to be fired. Also, the Dolphins have yet to interview a minority candidate, a requirement under the NFL’s Rooney Rule. CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco notes the Dolphins could face a fine of about $500,000 if they don’t comply with the rule. (I’m guessing Mr. Ross can cover it).

Finally, there is the matter of John Elway.

According to Kawakami, Harbaugh told the Niners on Wednesday that he would speak with Miami billionaire owner Steve Ross out of respect.

Won’t Harbaugh, a former NFL quarterback and current Stanford coach, extend the same courtesy to Elway, a Hall of Fame NFL quarterback who played at Stanford?

Elway, Denver’s new vice president of football operations, said he would be contacting Harbaugh at his introductory press conference Wednesday.

“We are going to put a call into him and see where he is falling and hopefully we get that done (Wednesday) or (Thursday) and find out exactly where he is,” Elway said. “… I did see Jim down there (at the Orange Bowl). I did mention to him that I understood everything that was going on and did not want to take a lot of his time with the game that he had to play and the everything that he had to do. But, I did mention to him that if he decided that he wanted to jump to the NFL and wanted to go in the NFL direction that the Denver Broncos would be interested.”

Has Denver’s interest has waned in light of Miami’s $7 million-plus offer? The Broncos reportedly have to pay about $5 million to ex-coaches Mike Shanahan and Josh McDaniels next season.

Still, given the possible hold-ups – Sparano, Rooney Rule and Elway – it appears the Niners could have time to re-enter the discussion. That is, of course, if they want to compete with Ross.

If not, bye, bye, Jim Harbaugh.

Hello, Plan B.

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