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Dolphins, Sparano will talk contract 'adjustment'

And now it is time for the other shoe to drop.

With the Dolphins and their ownership turning their attention back to keeping Tony Sparano as the club's head coach,the idea now is to find peace within the ranks before presenting a calm, happy, united front before the media in a press conference that is planned for today but whose exact time has not yet been determined.

Well, to get that family portrait just right the Dolphins must make coach Tony Sparano a happy camper. And after a week in which ownership said some things and did others, kept Sparano employed but also sought ways to replace him, bringing the coach back to a state of joy is going to require some hard work.

And that is the work that is happening at this hour.

A source in the ownership group tells me the team is working on ways to soothe things over by, among other things, discussing the "adjustment of Sparano's contract."

I suppose in regular everyday English that means the Dolphins are going to talk with Sparano's agent Jimmy Sexton about some sort of contract extension or pay raise or some guarantees of some sort.

I also have been told some of the conversation in today's meetings are supposed to involve Sparano's coaching staff. I reported to you Thursday that offensive coordinator Dan Henning and the team have parted ways. So, obviously, names of possible replacements might be a topic as well as the job security of various other assistants.

All of Miami's assistants are under contract for 2011.

Another topic that would have to be broached is the relationship between Sparano and general manager Jeff Ireland. They were once joined at the hip. They were part of a trio, including Bill Parcells, that was supposed to turn the Dolphins into champions.

Well, Ireland disconnected from Sparano in recent weeks and found a way to find favor with ownership that Sparano did not. And Ireland was on that team that went to California to seek out Jim Harbaugh as a possible replacement for Sparano.

So there are some frayed feelings there. No, the relationship is not broken. But it definitely is different now. There are issues there now.

Those issues have to be addressed.

This is probably not going to be a one-sided conversation. So perhaps ownership will have items it also wants to vent about to Sparano.

I would be careful about venting too much, however. Otherwise, that happy family portrait the Dolphins are hoping to unveil later today might not look quite right ... or might not get unveiled at all.

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