What is Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross thinking?

After the events of this past week, there’s reason to believe that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing.

He started the week by flying himself, GM Jeff Ireland and new football “czar” Carl Peterson cross-country to meet with then-Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh about a position that was already being filled by Tony Sparano. In doing so, Ross left Sparano and his entire staff to believe that once he returned, they would no longer be employed by the Dolphins. (The coaching staff even began cleaning out their offices on Wednesday.)

But on Thursday, Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reported that the Dolphins had “bowed out” of the Harbaugh race and would retain Sparano as head coach. Harbaugh reportedly didn’t want to go to Miami (he signed with the 49ers on Friday), which meant Ross had to tuck his tail between his legs and try to mend fences with Sparano.

Late Friday night, Ross extended Sparano’s contract through 2013 as sort of an apology for what had transpired throughout the week. Sparano will also have an “expanded role in personnel decisions.”

The new contract and expanded role are nice coups for Sparano. But what does it say about Ross’ decision-making if he was ready to drop his current head coach as soon as Harbaugh signed on the dotted line, yet, was so quick to extend Sparano’s contract once Harbaugh told him to buzz off? Does Ross want Sparano to be his head coach or not? And will Sparano forever have this incident to hang over Ross’ head whenever the owner gets an itchy trigger finger in the future?

As an owner, you either believe in your head coach or not. I get that owners may like another head coach’s work, but when you invest millions of dollars in a guy you better have confidence that he can get the job done. And not being able to sign the guy you wanted isn’t a good enough reason to extend your current head coach. Clearly Ross doesn’t have complete confidence in Sparano or else he wouldn’t have tried so hard to bring Harbaugh to Miami.

What a weird situation.

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