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NFL AM: Ross Prepared To Throw Money At Harbaugh

Find out who has the most to gain by signing Jim Harbaugh; The Jaguars exceed expectations and what your team needs to do to clinch.

Charlie Bernstein



Ross Has Two Chances For Harbaugh

Roughly four years ago, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was spurned by San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh before Harbaugh opted to sign on in San Francisco.

It appears that he will now have a second chance to get his man. Actually two second chances.

Although Ross already has a coach in Joe Philbin for his Dolphins, he had a coach last time they went after Harbaugh. His name was Tony Sparano, who somewhat ironically might get replaced by Harbaugh in Oakland.

The Dolphins appear to be an excellent landing spot for Harbaugh, assuming that he’s let out of his contract on “Black Monday” as nearly everyone expects. It’s almost a certainty that Stephen Ross would be more than willing to let Philbin go and pay out the rest of his contract to get his man.

The job offer that seems to be most prevalent right now for Harbaugh is that at his alma mater, the University of Michigan. It has been reported that the current 49ers head coach was offered a six-year deal worth $49 million by his former school.

Those numbers seem like a deal that he shouldn’t refuse, assuming they are true numbers. With a school like Michigan that was hesitant to use private planes for recruiting trips and giving iPads to players, it doesn’t seem fitting that they could and would offer a head coach more than $8 million per year.

If the Michigan offer is indeed legitimate, a lot of that decision and at least part of the money would come from none other than Miami’s Ross, who is the school’s biggest booster.

Ross now has two chances to get his guy. Here’s hoping that he doesn’t swing and miss again.

No Embarrassment On Thursday Night

If you set your expectations low, it’s hard to get disappointed.

The Tennessee Titans-Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday night matchup was supposed to be anything but aesthetically pleasing for fans.

The game leaped over the low bar of public perception and expectation and turned out to be a solid game between two struggling teams that appear to be going in opposite directions.

The Jaguars matched a season high with three offensive touchdowns en route to their 21-13 victory over their division rivals from Nashville.

“It felt good to get back in the end zone and put some points on the board and give us a little boost,” Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis said after catching a four-yard touchdown pass for the initial Jacksonville score.

After allowing a touchdown on the opening drive of the game to Charlie Whitehurst and the Titans, the Jacksonville defense stiffened and allowed just two field goals the rest of the way.

“It’s always to come out on top, so that’s good, and for the defensive line to go out and end the game on a play,” Jaguars defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks said. “That was huge but we can’t take that one play and say it was all about one play, it was about the whole drive where they had the ball and we had to get a stop. So our whole defense did good on that drive and the accomplishment should go to the entire defense.”

Stud defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks put an emphatic cap on the game as he sacked Whitehurst on the game’s final play. The sack put him at 8.5 for the season, triggering a $600,000 bonus in his contract.

“I’m taking the whole team out tonight wherever they want to go, they already put that on me before I even said it,” Marks explained. “We’ll go out and have some fun.”

After having just one home victory in 2013, the Jaguars finished 2014 with a 3-4 record at Everbank Field. Meanwhile, the Titans have lost nine consecutive games and are positioning themselves for the first- or second-overall pick in the draft.

Playoff Clinching Scenarios

from NFL Media.


CLINCHED: Denver – AFC West
Indianapolis – AFC South
New England – AFC East


New England clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

1) NE win + DEN loss

New England clinches a first-round bye with:

1) NE win OR

2) NE tie + IND loss or tie OR

3) IND loss + CIN loss or tie + PIT loss or tie + BAL loss or tie

DENVER BRONCOS (at Cincinnati)

Denver clinches a first-round bye with:

1) DEN win OR

2) DEN tie + IND loss or tie


Cincinnati clinches AFC North division with:

1) CIN win + PIT loss + BAL loss or tie

Cincinnati clinches a playoff spot with:

1) CIN win OR

2) CIN tie + BAL loss OR

3) CIN tie + KC loss or tie + SD loss or tie OR

4) KC loss + SD loss + BUF loss or tie


Pittsburgh clinches a playoff spot with:

1) PIT win


Baltimore clinches a playoff spot with:

1) BAL win + PIT loss + CIN loss OR

2) BAL win + KC loss or tie + SD loss or tie OR

3) BAL tie + KC loss + SD loss + BUF loss or tie


CLINCHED: Arizona – playoff spot


Arizona clinches NFC West division and home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

1) ARI win

DETROIT LIONS (at Chicago)

Detroit clinches NFC North division with:

1) DET win + GB loss

Detroit clinches a first-round bye with:

1) DET win + GB loss + DAL loss

Detroit clinches a playoff spot with:

1) DET win OR

2) DET tie + PHI loss or tie OR

3) PHI loss

DALLAS COWBOYS (vs. Indianapolis)

Dallas clinches NFC East division with:

1) DAL win + PHI loss or tie OR

2) DAL tie + PHI loss

Dallas clinches a playoff spot with:

1) DAL win + GB loss or tie + DET loss or tie as long as both don’t tie


Seattle clinches a playoff spot with:

1) SEA win + PHI loss or tie OR

2) SEA win + DET loss or tie OR

3) SEA win + GB loss or tie OR

4) SEA tie + PHI loss OR

5) SEA tie + DET loss + GB loss OR

6) PHI loss + DAL win or tie


Green Bay clinches a playoff spot with:

1) GB win + PHI loss or tie OR

2) GB win + DAL win or tie OR

3) GB tie + PHI loss OR

4) GB tie + PHI tie + DAL win or tie OR

5) PHI loss + DAL win or tie


New Orleans clinches NFC South division with:

1) NO win + CAR loss

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.

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