It was widely reported Sunday afternoon that Vic Fangio had agreed to become Dolphins defensive coordinator. NFL Network broke the news, which was quickly confirmed by The Post.
Monday came and went with no official news release from the Dolphins, let alone a news conference with reporters covering the team. While that may not have set off alarm bells, it appears Tuesday will come and go with still no confirmation that Fangio has put pen to paper.
In fact, Tuesday's head-coaching news — DeMeco Ryans to the Houston Texans and Sean Payton to the Denver Broncos — may have complicated things, with reports saying Fangio might be interested in, or at least a target to, run the defenses of the Broncos or the San Francisco 49ers, taking the role Ryans just vacated.
Backstage Media’s Michael Silver said he spoke Sunday with Fangio, who told him, “Nothing has been decided on my end.”
Owner Stephen Ross reportedly is prepared to make Fangio the highest-paid defensive coordinator in the league. But there are extenuating circumstances that might be reason for Dolphins fans to be nervous.
The first is simple. The 49ers already have one of the best defenses in the league, allowing the fewest points and second-fewest yards in 2022. On Tuesday they lost Ryans to Houston, where he played. And some of Fangio’s greatest success came from 2011-14, when he was coordinator of a 49ers defense that finished in the top five every season.
The plot thickened even more late Tuesday afternoon when CBS Sports' Josina Anderson reported that Fangio is expected to talk with the 49ers.
Finally on that front, Fangio’s girlfriend is an eye surgeon in the Bay Area.
But that's not all. Even later Tuesday afternoon, Dave Logan, radio voice of the Broncos, said Fangio is negotiating with Denver. That could create the highly unusual move of Fangio returning as an assistant coach of a team he once served as head coach. Fangio was the Broncos' head coach from 2019-21, going 19-30.
As if that weren't enough, there’s one other, more involved subplot that could be boiled down to a rivalry between Ross and 49ers CEO Jed York. It has little to do with football.
As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle last fall, Ross owns the Related Companies, which is behind a multibillion dollar multi-use development across from the 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Ross has the support of Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor, whom York vehemently opposed in her successful reelection bid vs. Anthony Becker.
Ross contributed $100,000 to Gillmor’s campaign, setting off York, whose 49ers paid for a commercial campaign that included an airing during the 49ers-Rams “Monday Night Football” game. In it, Ross was personally attacked. The ad said Ross was “one of Donald Trump’s biggest supporters” and had made “shady backroom deals” with Gillmor.
NFL owners obviously compete with one another but also share common interests, so it’s not often you see one owner attack another. The Chronicle quoted one NFC owner as saying, “You don’t like to see it. … The league works best when it functions as a partnership and when we treat each other as partners.”
The Dolphins’ job opened after Josh Boyer was fired following a disappointing performance this season.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Vic Fangio to Dolphins isn't official; 49ers lost Ryans. Time to worry?