Jeff Fisher chooses St. Louis over Miami

The waiting game is over, and the Miami Dolphins came up on the short end.

Jeff Fisher, the biggest name on the 2012 coaching market, spurned the Miami Dolphins on Friday for the St. Louis Rams. It ends a lengthy saga of back-and-forth speculation and leverage by the former Tennessee Titans coach.

Miami interviewed Fisher last week and he was Miami’s top target from the start. But Fisher also had his eyes on the St. Louis job, and spent most of last week interviewing with the Rams twice and visiting their facilities.

In the meantime, there were various reports that Fisher couldn’t make up his mind. Eventually, he chose the Rams.

St. Louis has an opening at general manager and a potential franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford. Miami could not compete with those two factors. The Dolphins still have general manager Jeff Ireland in place, and are still searching for their long-term quarterback.

Miami owner Stephen Ross lost out on his chance to make a splashy coaching hire. Now he has to go to Plan B, which most likely involves hiring a lesser-known NFL assistant.

Miami already interviewed assistant coaches Dave Toub of the Chicago Bears, Joe Philbin of the Green Bay Packers, Mike Zimmer of the Cincinnati Bengals, and Dolphins interim coach Todd Bowles.