Brian Flores turned the NFL world on its ear earlier this week with the allegations of discriminatory hiring practices and game-fixing while he was with the Miami Dolphins. 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel is set to interview with those very same Dolphins tomorrow. On today’s Gold Standard podcast, Levin Black and I asked the question: Why?
In case you’ve been living under a rock, Brian Flores alleges (among other things) that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him an extra $100,000 for every loss in 2019 so that his team would secure the first overall draft pick in 2020. Since the allegation, NFL Network claims to have spoken to an unnamed source that was present at the meeting between Flores and Ross and heard the offer being made. Flores also alleges that Ross tried to get him to recruit “a prominent quarterback” who was under contract to another team, which would be a tampering violation. Flores says he refused. The NFL says it will investigate the situation (though they initially said the comments were “without merit”).
Right now, there’s no telling what the outcome of this situation will be. Ross could be forced to sell the team. The team could be stripped of draft picks - who knows? We’re in uncharted waters right now, and anything could happen.
Will all of that chaos make Mike McDaniel think twice about becoming the head coach of that organization? As of right now, he’s still scheduled to have his second interview there tomorrow.
“I’d be shocked if he takes the job,” Levin Black said, “It is now a situation that nobody wants to go into. Or should not want to go into. The only thing I can think of is...just for the experience of it. How often do you get an interview for a head coaching gig? Because those aren’t just simple interviews. They’re very detailed, ‘Who is going to be on your staff, who can you get, how do you see our roster?’”
It’s hard to imagine someone would be excited to take a job where the owner of the company could be forced out in disgrace and company itself could face stiff penalties for misconduct. That said, it’s also very possible that McDaniel still wants the job. Despite all of the adversity, like Levin said, these jobs are in short supply. After years under Kyle Shanahan, McDaniel may just be ready for a different professional challenge (like actually getting to call plays, for example).
Selfishly, if McDaniel did return to the team this year, it would obviously be a huge boost to the organization, especially one that’s transitioning to a soon-to-be 22-year-old starting quarterback. Continuity is a huge part of a player’s development, particularly at quarterback. And it’s not as if saying in San Francisco does nothing for McDaniel’s appeal, either. If Trey Lance fulfills the potential the 49ers see in his next year, that will put McDaniel in even higher demand in the hiring cycle of 2023.