The first domino has fallen in the 2022 NFL offseason when it comes to general manager and head coach openings, and it has all sorts of ties to the Miami Dolphins — both past and potentially future.
The New York Giants announced Friday they had hired as their new general manager Joe Schoen, who had been Buffalo Bills assistant general manager and previously spent almost a decade with the Dolphins in their scouting department.
During that time, Schoen spent three years as director of player personnel.
But the hiring of Schoen could end up affecting the Dolphins' current search for a new head coach to replace Brian Flores, who was fired the day after his team completed a 9-8 regular season.
Because he has spent the past five years with the Bills, it's logical to assume that the list of candidates Schoen might consider for the role of head coach to replace Joe Judge likely will include Buffalo's two coordinators, Brian Daboll and Leslie Frazier.
Not that it will affect the Dolphins' coaching search, but another candidate to watch for the Giants head coaching position is the aforementioned Brian Flores, who has a lot of admirers around the NFL and who also happens to be a New York native.
The Dolphins interviewed both Daboll and Frazier for the opportunity to replace Flores, and Daboll has been tabbed as among the leading candidates to take over in Miami because of his role in the development of quarterback Josh Allen and because of his connection to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, with whom he worked in 2017 as offensive coordinator for the University of Alabama.
Daboll, it should be noted, also is believed to be a strong candidate for the opening with the Chicago Bears.
While they haven't announced any completed head coach opening interviews, the Dolphins reportedly already have talked with Daboll, Frazier, Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel, and were scheduled to meet with Arizona defensive coordinator Vance Joseph and Rams offensive coordinator Thomas Brown on Friday.
OTHER POTENTIAL DOLPHINS CANDIDATES?
While those seven candidates have been identified through national media reports citing sources, it's also not impossible that the Dolphins have targeted other candidates.
The three who jump out are former NFL head coach Jim Caldwell, Doug Pederson and Jim Harbaugh.
Caldwell, who was hired as assistant head coach by Flores in 2019 before he stepped away after a couple of months because of health issues, already has interviewed with two teams this month, though he denied on Twitter on Saturday morning a report he had turned down interview requests from the Vikings and Raiders.
Harbaugh has been linked to the Raiders opening, though there have been conflicting reports as to level of interest from Las Vegas. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross pursued Harbaugh during the 2011 offseason but he said while announcing the firing of Flores that he would not be the one to take Harbaugh away from the University of Michigan.
What was left unsaid then, however, was that Harbaugh could publicly declare that he's leaving Michigan to return to the NFL and Ross then could offer him the job, which technically might not constitute "taking him away from Michigan" if Harbaugh was going to leave anyway.