The San Francisco 49ers have dealt with a swirl of rumors surrounding head coach Jim Harbaugh this year. Whether it be the Cleveland Browns trade rumors, or the reported dysfunction in the locker room, it has been a long, long season. And whether or not the 49ers beat the Seahawks in Week 15, the rumors will only continue.
The latest rumor comes from Miami Herald writer Armando Salguero. He is reporting the Miami Dolphins would again look into hiring Jim Harbaugh if they do not make the playoffs this year. Stephen Ross tried to hire Harbaugh in 2011, but came up short in his bid. Once Ross fired Tony Sparano, he hired Joe Philbin. Miami has shown modest improvement, going 7-9 in 2012, 8-8 in 2013, and sitting at 7-6 in 2014, but as Salguero wrote, they have not made that big leap from mediocre.
We have had plenty of discussion about what kind of leverage the 49ers might have in a potential trade of Jim Harbaugh. While issues have become public, leverage could increase thanks to the basics of supply and demand. We have heard rumors that the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets might be interested. If we add in the Miami Dolphins, suddenly we've got a little group to work from, and maybe the 49ers can get a bigger haul of draft picks.
With that in mind, it is time to introduce another rooting guide. It is time for the Jim Harbaugh trade value rooting guide! This one is fairly simple. There is not really a ranking of who we want to see lose games, but rather just a listing of teams. The more of these teams that lose, the better for Harbaugh trade value purposes.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: If the Falcons don't make the playoffs, Mike Smith is seemingly out the door. It might even happen if they win the NFC South, but a loss makes it more likely. Go Steelers!
Washington vs. New York Giants: I don't know that Jay Gruden is definitely out, but there have been rumors Dan Snyder is prepared to move on from him after only one year. I don't know what the future holds for Tom Coughlin, so I'm down for another Washington loss. Go Giants!
Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots: We discussed above. Go Patriots!
Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Go Chiefs!
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers: I don't know how quickly Lovie could get the axe, but another loss would certainly help. Go Panthers!
New York Jets vs. Tennessee Titans: Rex Ryan seems a lock to be fired, but would it be worth getting Ken Whisenhunt out in Tennessee as well? Or do we just go for the final burial of Ryan? Go Titans!