Dolphins coach Joe Philbin to receive contract extension

Andrew Abramson
Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on December 21, 2014. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Dolphins coach Joe Philbin is not only coming back for another season but he will be locked in beyond that.

Although the Dolphins do not publicly comment on contract extension for coaches or executives, the Palm Beach Post has learned that the team is in the process of extending Philbin’s initial four-year deal, which will expire after the 2015 season.

Details are still being worked out, but according to a source, the extension is believed to be for two years, which would run through the 2017 season.

Of course, the extension doesn’t guarantee that Philbin will actually coach the Dolphins past the 2015 season.

Owner Stephen Ross gave former coach Tony Sparano a two-year extension before the 2011 season, but he was fired 13 games into that season.

Former general manager Jeff Ireland received a one-year extension before the 2013 season, but he was fired after that season.

So why extend Philbin after compiling 23-25 record in three seasons and failing to lead the Dolphins to the playoffs?

There are a couple of reasons. Giving him an extension eliminates his “lame duck” status, which is always an awkward position for coaches when dealing with his staff or players.

Also, if the Dolphins are successful in 2015, they won’t have to worry about Philbin becoming a free agent and commanding a higher salary.

Terms of his new deals were not immediately available and his current contract has never been made public, but Philbin is believed to earn at least $3 million a year.

By comparison New Orleans’ Sean Payton is the NFL’s highest paid coach at more than $8 million a year.

Most NFL coaches have offset language in their contracts, meaning that if Philbin is fired before his deal is up and he gets a job as an assistant with another team, the Dolphins would only have to pay him the difference of the two contracts.