Dolphins to pay Capers; new head coach next?

Updated: January 14, 2007, 4:54 PM ET
By Chris Mortensen | ESPN.com

The Miami Dolphins have reached an agreement with defensive coordinator Dom Capers on a deal that will make him the highest-paid assistant coach in the NFL.

Capers' new deal is for three years and an estimated $8.1 million, team sources confirmed. His salary in 2007 will be $2.6 million, equal to that of Washington Redskins assistant head coach/defense Gregg Williams, but Capers will get raises of at least $100,000 per year in 2008 and 2009.

Capers' current deal was set to expire on Sunday; he would have been able to talk with other teams, but he would not have been able to sign with another team until Feb. 1.

Also, New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has emerged as a finalist in the Dolphins' search for a head coach, sources confirmed.

Schottenheimer will have a second interview with the Dolphins on Tuesday, one day after Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin gets his second interview as a finalist.

Tomlin, however, said talk of a second interview was speculation.

"I haven't heard from those guys yet," he said, according to the Miami Herald. "I haven't talked to those guys about any kind of second interview."

Meanwhile, former Falcons head coach Jim Mora will have his second interview with Miami Sunday night and Monday.

The Dolphins have pared their list from 12 candidates to four or five.

Schottenhenheimer just finished his first season as a coordinator. The 33-year-old son of San Diego Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer is the youngest coordinator in the NFL. Brian Schottenheimer was the quarterbacks coach in San Diego prior to joining Jets coach Eric Mangini's staff this past season.

Tomlin, who will turn 35 in March, also just completed his first season, as a defensive coordinator. Tomlin is a finalist for the Pittsburgh Steelers vacant head coaching position, too.

Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey and San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Cam Cameron also are believed to be finalists for the Dolphins' job.

Chris Mortensen is an NFL analyst for ESPN.

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