Saban considers leaving Dolphins for Tide

Jason Cole
Yahoo! Sports

Miami Dolphins head coach Nick Saban is expected to decide by Tuesday morning whether we will assume the same role at the University of Alabama, according to a source. Saban was in South Florida on Monday speaking with Dolphins players and owner Wayne Huizenga as he mulled his decision.

Saban, 15-17 in two seasons with the Dolphins, has been offered a 10-year deal worth around $40 million in guarantees from Alabama. He has three years and $15 million left on his contract with the Dolphins but could walk away from his pact without suffering any financial penalties, according to a source with knowledge of Saban's contract.

In response to Alabama's pursuit, Huizenga has made a compelling case for Saban to stay in Miami and could be willing to offer the coach more money to stay.

Alabama's interest in Saban was made public knowledge shortly after the team fired Mike Shula on Nov. 27. Both parties initially denied rumors that Saban was a target and the Crimson Tide's search eventually took them to West Virginia, where Mountaineers coach Rich Rodriguez was reportedly on the verge of being hired. However, he announced on Dec. 8 that w\he was staying in West Virginia and Saban again became the coach most publicly linked to the vacancy.

Two sources said Saban is torn over his decision about whether to stay or go because of verbal commitments he's made to the players. In fact, he was quoted on Dec. 21 as saying, "I'm not going to be the Alabama coach."

The Dolphins finished strong in Saban's rookie year of 2005, ending the season with a six-game winning streak to finish with a 9-7 mark and raising expectations for the '06 campaign. However, even after the acquisition of quarterback Daunte Culpepper, the Dolphins began the season 1-6 and finished 6-10.

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