Operatives for the Miami Dolphins have contacted people close to former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher about the team's head coaching job, CBSSports.com reported Tuesday.
The report, which cited a source with knowledge of the situation, said team owner Stephen Ross was resorting to back channels to avoid the kind of criticism he received in January 2011 when he publicly courted then-Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh while current Dolphins coach Tony Sparano was still under contract.
Sparano has been under fire all season as the Dolphins have sputtered to an 0-6 start. During last Sunday's loss to the Denver Broncos, NFL.com's Jeff Darlington reported that Sparano shouted at officials that he was in danger of being fired.
Further fueling the speculation that he might be on his way out of Miami, Sparano confirmed a report Wednesday that he has put his Miami area home up for sale.
"I'm an empty nester," Sparano said, according to a tweet from Newsday. "My wife & I have a huge house with nobody in it. We're beach people."
Cowher, currently an analyst at CBS Sports, left coaching after winning the Super Bowl in 2006. He is one of the first names to come up when people talk about any potential NFL coaching vacancy.