The most stunning news that broke during the NFL's dreaded "Black Monday" happened to come from South Beach, when the playoff-less Miami Dolphins announced the firing of third-year coach Brian Flores. In a statement, owner Stephen Ross said the team wasn't "functioning at a level I want it to be."
In three seasons with the Dolphins, Flores earned a 24-25 record, missing the playoffs in each campaign. But the team achieved back-to-back winning years under the first-time coach, and also won eight of its last nine games following a dreadful 1-7 start. On top of that, Flores took four of six matchups against his mentor, in New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
"There's absolutely no way that Ross is going to make that decision without there being at least three or four big stories underneath the surface that we really don't know yet," NFL columnist Peter King told the Maggie and Perloff show on Tuesday. "Jeff Darlington was all over ESPN yesterday, talking about [Flores'] lousy relationship with Tua Tagovailoa, his desire -- against all logical odds -- to get Deshaun Watson last year. There's a lot of stuff.
"I don't know the reason, no one really knows the reason. But there's got to be a reason why he had -- and I forget what the count is, I've heard it's 10 -- offensive coordinators, QB coaches, and offensive line coaches combined in three years. What in the world is going on inside that building that makes the most important position, some of the most important positions on a coaching staff, churn the way it did for the Dolphins?"
As King mentioned, ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington shared information about Flores' departure on Monday, explaining that his relationships with Tagovailoa and general manager Chris Grier reached irreparable levels. Prior to the trade deadline, Flores seemed somewhat uncommitted to Tagovailoa as their long-term starter, and rumors about interest in Deshaun Watson intensified.
Ultimately, Miami kept Tagovailoa as their starter, and to the former first-round pick's credit, his second-half numbers were commendable. In 13 total games, he completed 67.8-percent of his passes for 2,653 yards with 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. At the moment, all signs point toward the Dolphins' next coach working with and developing Tagovailoa.
The entire NFL conversation between King and Maggie and Perloff can be accessed in the audio player above.