Dolphins fire Flores after 3 seasons due to reported power struggle
Brian Flores is out in Miami.
Miami posted a 9-8 record this season, marking its second straight winning campaign under Flores. The Dolphins won just one of their first eight games in 2021 but finished the season on an 8-1 streak.
The 40-year-old, who began his coaching career as an assistant for the New England Patriots, leaves Miami with a 24-25 record. The Dolphins didn't make the playoffs during his tenure.
Miami decided to move on from Flores due to his deteriorating relationships with general manager Chris Grier and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, according to Jeff Darlington of ESPN.
The coach was involved in a power struggle with Grier, who'll remain with the AFC East team, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross seemed to confirm Monday that Flores and Grier weren't collaborating successfully.
"I'll take all responsibility," Ross said, according to Safid Deen of USA Today. "I am the owner of the team. If it's not working, it's up to me. That's why we're making a change."
Flores is expected to be a prime candidate for head coaching jobs this offseason, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Rumors linking the Dolphins' vacancy to Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh surfaced quickly after Flores was fired. Harbaugh is reportedly expected to entertain NFL offers during the offseason, but Miami has no interest in pursuing him.
"I'm not going to be the person to take Jim Harbaugh from Michigan," Ross said.
The Dolphins' next head coach will inherit a roster with plenty of question marks, especially on offense. Tagovailoa has yet to meet expectations since being drafted fifth overall in 2020. The 23-year-old, who's 13-8 as a starter, passed for 16 touchdowns against 10 interceptions through 13 appearances this season.
Miami was reportedly interested in acquiring Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson in 2021, but the two sides didn't reach an agreement before the trade deadline in November.
Ross said he has no plans to pursue Watson in 2022, but he'll let the team's next head coach make the decision.
"It will be up to the head coach in what he does with the quarterback," Ross said. "I have a lot of confidence in Tua. And it'll be up to the head coach in what he wants to do with the position."