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Biggest reasons for concern in Dolphins' coaching search

The Dolphins' cap situation -- which could cost them key in-house free agents like Olivier Vernon -- could also scare away prospective head-coaching candidates. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins' coaching search is underway. This will likely be the most important decision the team makes over the next 3-4 years.

Will Miami find the right coach? Here are three reasons for concern during the Dolphins' search.

No. 1: History of instability

The Dolphins are looking for their third head coach in five years. That is a poor reflection on the team, and the instability may scare away some top candidates. There have also been internal squabbles between the front office and coaching staff that have led to dysfunction. New general manager Chris Grier says that will be a thing of the past and everyone will go in the same direction. But it’s too early for prospective candidates to see proof of that before taking the job.

No. 2: Outside competition

The Dolphins aren’t the only team searching for a head coach. They will be competing with the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns. That’s six teams fighting for the same pool of candidates. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is confident he’s built a top-notch organization with the resources to match up with any franchise. But Ross has had issues luring coaches (and general managers) to Miami in the past. It will be interesting to see if that changes with this year’s coaching search if the Dolphins are fighting with other teams for the same coach.

No. 3: Salary cap

The Dolphins are a 6-10 team that is projected to be over the cap for 2016. That would make any coaching candidate cringe. Miami needs plenty of upgrades on its roster on both sides of the football and must get very creative to get this done within its cap restraints. As a result, the team could release a lot of veteran talent and be reluctant to sign key in-house free agents, such as running back Lamar Miller and sack leader and defensive end Olivier Vernon.