The Miami Dolphins reportedly got their top choice to fill their defensive coordinator role.
Vic Fangio and the Dolphins are in agreement on a deal that makes him the NFL’s highest-paid defensive coordinator, according to NFL Network. The report said the contract is a three-year deal with a fourth-year team option.
Fangio was a coveted option for coach Miami’s defense for coach Mike McDaniel back when he took the head coach position early last offseason, but previous defensive coordinator Josh Boyer was retained for the 2022 season and then fired Jan. 19.
Fangio, 64, beat out a list of candidates that also included Seattle Seahawks associate head coach/defensive assistant Sean Desai, New Orleans Saints co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach Kris Richard and the Dolphins’ own internal candidate, linebackers coach Anthony Campanile. The four candidates interviewed between Wednesday and Friday of the past week before Sunday’s decision.
Fangio, who was head coach of the Denver Broncos from 2019 to 2021, without a deal to return to a coordinator role last offseason, instead became a defensive consultant for the Philadelphia Eagles this season, with his team competing in the NFC Championship Game of the playoffs Sunday. News of his deal with the Dolphins broke about four hours before Philadelphia’s kickoff against the San Francisco 49ers for a spot in the Super Bowl.
Fangio has a lengthy resume as an NFL defensive coordinator: Chicago Bears from 2015 to 2018, 49ers from 2011 to 2014 (a stretch that included deep playoff runs and even a Super Bowl appearance leading great defenses), Houston Texans for their first four seasons in franchise history from 2002 to 2005, the Indianapolis Colts from 1999 to 2001 and the Carolina Panthers from their inaugural season in 1995 through 1998.
Before reaching the coordinator ranks, he was a longtime New Orleans Saints linebackers coach from 1986 through 1994. He also had stints as a defensive assistant for tough Baltimore Ravens defenses from 2006 to 2009 before coordinating the Stanford University defense in 2010 and following Jim Harbaugh to the 49ers.
Fangio, who turns 65 in August, also coached now-Dolphins edge defender Bradley Chubb during his time in charge with the Broncos.