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Jeff Ireland is not the devil

This post is not going to be popular. This post absolutely will not fit the current popular narrative surrounding the Dolphins the past week. And I don't take this undertaking lightly because I don't enjoy taking a bullet for someone who is not my family or close friend.

But ...

This Jeff Ireland hatred is getting more than a tad ridiculous.

To begin, I cannot say I agree with every single move Ireland makes. I don' agree with his approach with the media. I am aware agents talk behind his back (if they do it with me I'm assuming they do it with others) and complain of an arrogance that is baffling and approach that sometimes borders on bullying.

But I also do not agree he is a total screwup and gets everything wrong -- maybe that's because he doesn't.

I thought the David Garrard signing was a very good one, assuming the projected use for him is what I believe it will be and isn't followed by a crazy chase of Alex Smith or Tim Tebow. I thought the re-signing of Paul Soliai at a bargain price -- $6 million per year when he had a bigger deal on the table with Denver and for a price that is half of what the team paid last year -- was a coup that got whitewashed in the negative theme of the day.

I like the fact the Dolphins held to their guns in coming to a organizational value for Matt Flynn, remembering that coach Joe Philbin knows this guy as well as anyone. People are saying Flynn picked the Seahawks over the Dolphins. I think it's more accurate to say the Dolphins picked something else over Flynn because I don't believe they wanted to outbid Seattle. I like that Miami made a move to explore Alex Smith. I like that Miami won't be paying Smith $8 million a year because that's crazy money considering seven years of watching this guy has offered only one season of promising production.

I understand (I think) why the Dolphins traded Brandon Marshall. I like Marshall and think he's an engaging guy. He really is great if you speak with him. Guy's charming. But he is a trouble magnet. He is immature and the lack of a father figure in his life gives him no foundation on which to sometimes understand right from wrong and being an adult from being a kid. I believe unless that changes, he's going to be in trouble again eventually. So the move to jettison him is logical on several levels.

I also understand and cannot criticize Ireland for letting Kendall Langford go. Quick, what was the last game-changing play he made? What was his signature moment in Dolphins history? Correct, he didn't have one. He was a grunt, a role-player albeit a nice one. Certainly, he's not a guy worth $6 million per year and a $12 million guarantee, which is what he got from St. Louis.

And, because I am not a hypocrite, I also cannot rip the idea of cutting Yeremiah Bell. Bell is one of my favorite players. He's a tough blankety blank. He's a good locker room guy. But he's 34 years old and his play isn't likely to get better. And for years I've urged the Dolphins to be one of those teams that jettisons players before they totally break down and lose it rather than waiting an extra year and suffering the actual fast decline while the player is on the roster.

The Dolphins cut Bell on Monday before he completely fades out. I cannot rip them for that, considering he brings $4.3 million in cap relief. (Also, we don't know if Miami offered Bell a chance to cut his salary and he refused or not.)

So all these moves that Ireland is getting destroyed for ... tell me how they were terrible. Tell me what he should have done.

The Garrard signing, by the way, is being panned because David Garrard is not a franchise quarterback and Ireland has promised a reach for a franchise QB this offseason. "We need to add a quarterback that can get us over the hump," he's told The Miami Herald.

No kidding. That's been the case for a decade, including five offseasons during Ireland's employment in Miami. And Garrard is not that guy.

But Ireland hasn't said he is. Ireland hasn't said that's his signature QB move of the spring. Seems to me Garrard is a move to add a veteran backup presence who might get a shot to win a job in the short-term. Hello? Compeition is good.

Unless I miss my guess, the Dolphins aren't done adding at quarterback. I believe they will draft a kid on which the club's future hopes will rest. At least that is my sense.

Maybe that rookie will be a bust. Maybe he'll be a star. The point is to rip Ireland for a move not yet made in an offseason not yet complete is hating for hating's sake.

On that front, there's plenty headed in Ireland's direction now. I hear there is a fan protest scheduled for today to rip Ireland. On Sunday, Pittsburgh safety Ryan Clark ripped Ireland on twitter and blamed him for Miami's ills and talked of how "the guy running things is not a good" person.

Then yesterday on NFL Network, former Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter blew up Ireland on national television. He blamed the Dolphins inability to close on, say, Peyton Manning and Flynn on Ireland.

"I think Jeff Ireland has a big part to do with it," Porter said. "I don't think when you come in being recruited by him, you totally believe things coming out of his mouth. I think he's a guy that's not trustworthy. He really doesn't hold up to what a GM's supposed to be."

Well, I really don't think Porter holds up to what a man is supposed to be. Porter is a great guy to have on a team when things are good. But as soon as things go bad, he becomes part of the problem. And as soon as he's no longer getting his way or is out of contract, he bites the hand that feeds him. He previously blew up Cam Cameron. He previously blew up Tony Sparano. He previously blew up Mike Tomlin.

The guy has a history for ripping people that either cut him, let him go in free agency, or stood up to him. So while you don't have to dismiss his criticism, at least understand where it originates.

By the way, this idea that Miami can't land anyone is getting on my nerves. No, they didn't get Harbaugh. No, they didn't land Fisher. No, they didn't get Manning. Which one of those was Ireland responsible for?

Manning, of course.

Well, the Dolphins didn't get Manning. And neither did San Francisco, Arizona, or Tennessee. The Jets, Kansas City, and Seattle all have good to outstanding GMs. None of them could even get a meeting with Manning. So Ireland is a bad guy because the Dolphins swung and missed on Peyton Manning?

Look, I do not agree with every move Ireland makes. To me, the Manning chase was a waste of time that I didn't agree with. I would have been in Mario Williams' jock and tried to sign him and I would have outbid Kansas City for Eric Winston. It would have been two blue chip additions to the team and my overall talent would have gone way up.

Instead the Dolphins are shopping at K-Mart with Artis Hicks and Jamaal Westersomebody.

I also would have gone to the wall (yes, even giving up FOUR first round picks) to land Robert Griffin III. I would have gotten my franchise QB one way or another. Ireland didn't.

But does that make the guy a loser? A man to revile?

Someon hacked into Ireland's Wikipedia page Tuesday and edited in some unkind things about him being born in a Denny's parking lot etc... Maybe that sounds funny to you. Maybe you're cheering the imagination of that move. I guess I'm not talking to you.

I am talking to the folks who are thinking for themselves. Break down the moves on their own merit. Tell me what you would have done. Tell me where you would depart from the current course.

Be fair.

Obviously, Ireland hasn't gotten all his moves right in the past. By the way, no one does. And the pressure is on him to land some, you know, actual stars this offseason because the Dolphins don't have any of those.

He might do that. He might not. But I'm not ready to say this guy is the devil for blowing it when we're only one week into free agency and the draft is on the horizon. I don't judge a team's gameday performance in the second quarter.

I wait until the game's over.

[BROADCAST, PERSONAL NOTE: If you wish to discuss this or any other Dolphins topic with me, you can tune in to my radio show at 640-AM in South Florida or watch the show online at the Miami Herald. You can call the show toll free at 888-640-9385. Also, I will not be updating this blog until much later this afternoon because I have a doctor's appointment after the show. For the latest, check out the rest of The Miami Herald Dolphins page.]


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The NFL is Fixed anyway.. All it takes is a Pass Interference call to change a game.. The Dolphins had a great run.. They Have fans all over the country.. Then its time to stink for a while until its time to build the brand back up.. This is THE WWE!

PROOF: Look at Bountygate.. let me get this straight.. A player is paid to give 110%, Hit as hard as you can hit, run as fast as you can run.. play as hard as you can play correct? what does a Bounty do? you are already supposed to play as hard as you can, hit as hard as you can.. Its Football, No?

Look at the Detoit Lions....Look at the Gm they use to have..Matt McMillen....Look the job he did....now what direction since he left is that team headed? Do everyone a favor Goodbye Jeff you did your best....let someone else try.....do it for the Dolphins!

Oh Armando we know you would be in Mario Williams jock to get him. You would use that big banana peel for a blanket, you would be so warm and safe in there too.

I do agree with alot of what you said, Ireland isn't awful. The two things that really bother me regarding this free agency are that we traded Brandon Marshall for 2 3rd round pick, heck we got the guy for 2 2nd rounds, at least one 2nd wouldve been nice. There was no follow up move after Brandon Marshall, there was alot of waiting around and then the release of Bell to free up cap room. Examine that...free up cap room for what, the K-Mart pick ups that are left over a week + into free agency? There were a ton of talented free agent wide receivers out there, now their gone. There were alot of nice safeties out there, many are gone. I understand now pulling the trigger on the QB, but if you don't do that, you need to address one of the positions where we let go Bell and Marshall, WR and S. There better be a Justin Blackmon tradeup and a 2nd round Kirk Cousins, or a Melvin Ingram/Tannehill 1st round...


The only fans the dolphins will lose are the bandwagon fans. Once the dolphins start wining again, they will all jump back on the bandwagon.

P.S. Amando, to use four first round draft picks for RGIII is nuts if he is a bust.


I would of used 2012 1st 3rd and 5th . N next yrs 1 and 5th 6th

And 2014 2nd and 7th.....he is worth it , I think he's gonna be great, better than bust luck....luck will be alex smith all over.....but wheedon iis the next best qb comming this draft NOT TANNEHILL


One of your best posts on this blog.

Unlike most I don't pretend to know what Ireland or Ross know about scouting etc... The only thing disturbing is the fact that this team won't spend money. You've put it out there and just by the signings he's made so far you can tell the blue light special is in full swing at K-Mart or in this case Davie-Mart.

Ireland may not be the devil himself, but he is definitely a very close relative. As far as him not screwing every move up, even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then.

If Ireland drafts tannehill at #8 he will start this draft with the stench of all his other stupid moves.

Armando get Ross and Ireland's o==3 out of your mouth. It'll make you puke. These office trolls ARE DUMB. The Garrard signing, the Marshall release, Bell release, Manning, Flynn, and Smith losses were due to the incompetence of Ireland and Ross's tight wallet. The Fins were front runners for Flynn and Manning and did not get it done. FAIL. They had a chance to sign Winston and didn't. FAIL. They had a chance to sign Smith and ruin the 49ers and didn't. FAIL. I see a pattern here...perhaps thicker glasses or a less inept brain can help you see this pattern as well.

Good defense of Jeff Ireland. However I would have fired him after the Dez Bryant incident. He lost all credibility with me at that point.

If there is worse than the Devil, Ireland is this entity. The Ireland era will be known to us fans as the era of mediocrity. If players like Garrard were so sought-after as Ireland insists, then why was he not already signed by another team or sought after by another team? Truth is he is SEASONED. Instead of wasting money on a seasoned QB, why didn't you fork out the $$ for a QB that fits your system, like Alex Smith? Smith has played West coast offense his entire collegiate and NFL career. Garrard has NOT. Good thinking there, Ireland. A guy that fits your system gets away and all you can do is sign a seasoned, over the hill crutch of a QB that isn't even an upgrade over Moore. Yeah, that Garrard guy is fabulous...had one good season and is near the end of his career. I think Ireland uses a magic 8 ball to make his decisions with the team.

All I can say is Ireland can only stretch things so far1 Wouldnt worry about what a lot of the media has to say... Porter should be working out maybe he wouldnt be a free agent! Who knows over the last couple of years whose fault is whose? I would rather have Garrard for 1 year than give up basically early draft picks for the next 3 years. OUT Go Joe!!! Hope ireland and co. can do well in this years draft! Really free agency was pretty much a joke go back and look at the headlines! All this stink over a 14 yr vet who has had 4 neck surgeries and lost in his last game vs Jets in 2011 whatever and Flynn come on RG3 the same ... 3 1sts really?

Some really good points on this board trust in joe I guess

Oh no, all these moves are not incompetence but a carefully designed plan. What for? $$$$

I heard Flynn took a shot at Ireland. Time for Marino to take a role in Miami like Elway has in Denver!!!!!!

I think is safe to beguin to confirm that Ross is in financial straits with the Dolphins and either plans to sell or move the Team.

Of course, the aggravation for us Fans might reach a point where many would wish the Team outta here. No?

Signing a role player like Garrard would have been fine any other year under pretty much any other circumstance. Selling your fans short by promising the world and delivering a role player does not cut it, it is not even good business as the empty seats will ensue inevitably.

That's is the problem, not the moves themselves but the continue evidence that there is no plan in sight. Had these clowns not promised anything and kept quiet and made the necessary moves to rebuild or even reload if they really thought to themselves we were a few players away from contention (deluded but still trying to make a different point here) none of this backlash would have occurred.

If there is a plan the only one I see here is that they were hoping for Tannehill as an option that was going to be there all along. Little they thought Seattle would ruin that and they are in the unenviable position that they may actually have to trade up (LOL) to get Tannehill. Unbelievable. And if Tannehill is indeed the plan why is this team still carrying dead weight that will not be around by the time this team can truly compete? Why we could not unload some of these overpaid and underachieving players trying to amass draft picks? Why did we have to wait until Marshall punched some girl in the face? Why do we still carry the contracts of Dansby, Fasano and even Jake Long? Why we could not sign Eric Winston as insurance for the line in case Long could not be signed? Why, why, why? Plenty of questions and no answers, and the secrecy of it is also quite frankly annoying.

Teams like the Pats with Belichick can afford to do whatever they want, they have earned that right, their fans have plenty of proof they know what they are doing. This brass on the other hand continues to downplay its fanbase over and over again and you want people to say nothing?

Well said,intelligence and knowledge beats noise, and who gives a crap what Joey the mouth thinks.

Is Tiger Sam one of the other aliases of YG?

I agree witb your overall assessment of Ireland. He should have definitely signed Eric Winston. I don't know whether Tanneyhill is a franchise qb, perhaps we can get a qb in the 2nd round. As a fan, I'm just disppointed in the current direction that the Dolphins have demonstrated this off-season. Hopefully they will give us some hope in the draft, but I'm skeptical.

We need recevers and a line....the d will be alright....get 1 more corner.....examples ......ocho for the 7th rd. Pick, wallace for the first, hynes ward, welker, t.o , like anyone ....we got noone...or draft blackmon....get wheedon in like the 3rd...not tannehill dudes a bum....and let the vet teach flloyd or whoever because anyone beside blackmon ain't all that.....come on and rt in the 2nd rd...let's make a move here

I say get wallace for the first pic...trade seventh for chad ocho, get a rt in the 2 , in the 3rd de,/corner, & wheedon, 4th , de/corner, 5th d fence, 6th dfence, 7th was for chad ocho....playoff run if we did that

title is a joke...nobody is saying Ireland is a devil. Ireland is simply incompetent...he needs to be FIRED before the draft.

I agree with most everything. It upsets me that people say Flynn chose Seattle over Miami. Miami didn't want to pay him the money. Sounds like they are finally making smarter financial decisions. Atleast they tried for Manning and there were several other teams who he did not choose.

Nice post, Mando. Couldn't agree more. BUT this situation reminds me of one of my favorite Big Lebowski quotes "You're not wrong [Jeff], you're just an a**hole."

Wheedon is the 2nd best qb behind rg3...luk will be an a.smith n tannehill will be amatt cassel

Armondo, I agree with all of your points except one. Marshall. Regardless of how resolved Ireland was to get rid of him for off-season and off-field reasons, he could have and should have played it less desperate and exhibited more of a poker face, and should have been willing to hold his card until someone was willing to trade what he was worth, which was at least what we spent for him, 2 second rounders, or a first. Marshall was a top 4 or 5 receiver, and those don't come easily. He was also relatively cheap for a player of that caliber. That is where Ireland totally demonstrated a lack of negotiating acumen, and hence, lacks the credibility to be an effective GM.

Great article Mando! Finally someone with some sense!

True fan,


SO Thats where all the cap money goes! to Armando never thought you would be bought by a team! sad day,sad day for sure!!!!

Get weeden......he's the best qb in the draft....luck=alex smith rg3=vick tannehill=cassel weedon =brady / bress/rogers .....use your heads and watch the tape he's 28 but who gives a s*** , how old was brady when he started or rogers...and how late is manning/marino/farve/collins/testeverde /etc play for ....come on dolphins

A very leveled and even article... I am not a Ireland fan but I know making sexy picks in FA isnt the long term answer you build via the draft you stick it out and you put the pieces in place compete long term with out burning up cap space...

"He is immature and the lack of a father figure in his life gives him no foundation on which to sometimes understand right from wrong and being an adult from being a kid."

Wow, so Armando is a social worker and/or wannabe sociologist. I guess it doesn't matter, its you blog and you assert as much idiocy as you want....as if fathers are the only basis for an individual's "foundation"...what an idiot

Armando, You sorta kinda defend Ireland's decisions and you sorta kinda agree with his "let's see how it plays out" BUT you are totally forgetting the last 2 years as well. Ireland's decisions have not worked. We have no titles. We don't even have a winning season.

Never in the history of the NFL has a general manager been disliked by fans.

When does the next "Fire Jeff Ireland" banner fly over Sun Life Stadium?

Armando, I have to give you credit on this post... The best ever!! I criticize when I have to, but I am a fair person... Awesome post!

There was one thing, though, I am not in agreement with you.. There's no way in he!! I would give 4 top picks for RG3, a 1-year wonder QB. The guy is great, and he seems very mature, but there's no way I would take that risk and playing all my chips on that bet... On Luck? Yes... But not RG3.. and I truly love him, but not worth 4 picks.. sorry.

Great composure by Ireland for dealing with all the FAs and trading temptations... I really like him, and to me, he has done an excellent job.

People and specially agents need to remember that GM are not supposed to be nice, as they have to make the tough decisions to get good results for the team to succeed.

Kudos to Ireland for signing Soliai and sticking to his guns... for signing R Marshall, for trading B. Marshall... for the Garrard signing as well..

I think that down the road, when we know of B. Marshall's future, people would realize how much of a good deal Ireland got out of this one....

“There is a monumental weakness in the organization,” he said Tuesday. “You can’t possibly lose out on every single individual, whether management or player or coach, without there being consequences to pay for it. They obviously don’t understand free agency. I guess the most meaningful statement was made by [Pittsburgh safety] Ryan Clark” – that nobody wants to play for the Dolphins. “That sums it up. Fans have every right to be totally disappointed.”

In evaluating a general manager, “you base it on results. And so far the results have been dismal,” Buoniconti said of Jeff Ireland. “I represented athletes for a living [as a former practicing attorney], and I’m not sure Jeff Ireland understands free agency, in terms of creating a scenario for a player that says, ‘We can really do something special with you plugged into this hole, and here’s how it would work.’

“I’m not sure that message is getting across. It’s obviously not just money. It’s the perception of a team that is in a downward spiral. This is what people don’t want to attach their future to.”

What irritates Buoniconti about the Dolphins’ personnel decisions is “there is no boldness here. They are always trying to play it safe. By playing it safe, they have lost out on how many free agents? They are not creative. The message promulgated by management has no innovation to it, no creativity to it.

Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/sports-buzz/2012/03/buoniconti-dolphins-front-office-doesnt-understand-free-agency-lacks-creativity.html#storylink=cpy

Jeff Ireland is not the devil....... No the devil is smart

Excellent article. The fact of the matter is that 90% of the imbeciles bad mouthing Ross and Ireland, don't spend any money on the Dolphins anyway, but whine and complain and act like they are owed something. How do you go to childish protests and have a job at the same time?


Max @ 6:39 , Turd @ 6:51 & Sean @ 7:05 EXCELLENT Posts!!!

The elites like you Armando are trying to shore up the sinking ship that is the Dolphins franchise. Media types like you are begginig to realize that you cannot allow for the fans to turn on the Dolphins and walk out. That will put your job and those of all the other radio and print media sports commentators and writers in jeapordy.

you are such an Ireland lapdog Mando and are blinded by your loyalty. Even Lombardi and Jason La Canfora on nfl network said the fins Fo is dysfunctional. Face the facts since Ireland got here the Fins are in disarray and the butt of the joke in this league. His overall record speaks for itself. Yes not every move is a disaster but the majority are . The faster that Ross sells the team and we rid ourselves of Ireland the better off the franchise will be

Ireland is a total ASS.. Who needs to be tossed out the door like a bag of trash..How the hell does he cut Yerimiah Bell.. The most productive player on defense.. Going backwards instead of foward.. Also we still have no good QB & no one in sight..Can't close a deal..What good is a GM, that can't close a deal? Not looking forward to another miserable, long losing season..

I don't blame Ireland much, but I have a different reason - I think Stephen Ross owns much of the blame. Guys like Bob Kraft, jerry Jones, even Al Davis - those are the type of owners players want to play for. Stephen Ross doesn't come off like that type of owner. I think he seems new on the block when it comes to football and new players realize he may get rid of Ireland Ireland at any time, and the team will be run into the ground from the top. I think the Mannings of the world believe the Dolphins, starting at the top are going to turn this franchise what we all think of the typical Lions or Bengals team.


This is one of your best posts ever. I am NOT and Ireland fan because I think, for whatever reason, he doesn't get sufficient respect throughout the league. And part of that has to do with Ross, who similarlry is disrespected as an NFL owner. I think that lack of pedigree, and the general talent level of the team, took the Fins out of the Peyton Manning derby. But I think the "failure" to sign Flynn or Alex Smith were both good moves; neither of those guys is a difference maker. And we needed another QB to serve as backup, so Garrard makes good sense. I think a great journalistic project would be to do a detailed critique of all of Ireland's work since he has been here, comparing it to some GMs from a lower tier, mid tier and high tier team. And interview as many people as possible to confirm the "lack of respect" Ireland gets, determining how real it is, and if real, WHY it exists.

One additional point that literally NO ONE is saying. After Matt Moore became the starter and got his @#$% together, he played at a high level (check his QB rating; 5th in AFC, a hair behind Rivers) and the Fins finished the year 6-3, including a one point loss to Dallas and and 3 point loss to NE. I know it's not saying much, but that was the best QB play we have had around here in a long time; WAY better than Henne ever produced. And while Moore didn't show Pennington-like accuracy, he has an NFL arm, is mobile and does not dump the ball off when things break down; he looks deep. I will take Moore over Flynn or Alex Smith ANY day; give the guy a chance.

The moves you described with RGIII and Williams would have been the way to go. He chased Mannning because his boss told him too. That is the problem, he doesn't stand up for himself. He is afraid to make waves.
Also you have to remember that the guys that are on the team now and the way the cap is now is because of Ireland. I dont give him a pass because of Parcells. If your title is GM then own it. You dont get to pick up the paycheck and say but Parcells was here.
This is his team and he built it and it is not what it should be for a team in Miami.

Also the management seems to be reactive not proactive. Every other team seems to stay on plan. Not be taken off course by a carrot that pops up in the middle of the plan

I personally think that signing Tebow is our best shot at turning this loser into a winner. The dolphins are a loser. Tebow is a winner. He finds ways to win and inspires and energizes and encourages those around him do find ways to win. Ireland, you can become a winner. You can sign Tebow. Or stay a loser and watch him go to New England, who by the way is a winner. Be a winner, Jeff.

Cool story...Let's see what you think after the draft when we end up with another Offensive Lineman or a Kicker/Punter. Throughout his tenure this guy has passed up on/couldn't get all of the pieces this organization has needed to get to the level we all expect from the Dolphins. I am sure J.Ross loves him. If he would save me a few extra million each year by not siging star players and handing out the huge contracts necessary nowadays to bring in the talent required to be an actual competitor in this league, I would love him too. The front office sure knows how to roll out the "orange" carpet for celebrity investors, yet seem to have an inability to do the same for potential star talent. If the fins are going to get anywhere we need to get rid of these celebrity investors, the owner, GM and a few others who I do not feel the need to mention. I can without a shred of a doubt say if we had a new owner someone the likes of say, Mark Cuban, our team would get exponentially better. But that will never happen, so enjoy another decade(s) of mediocrity.

Yours Truly,

Will We Ever Win Another SuperBowl?

Ireland suxs Mando and I'm pretty sure that the impression most players and fans have of him. Maybe it's not fair, but I think arrogance comes to mind. Look if this was the team to be playing for they'd be coming to us. Think Miami Heat here Mando! Who wouldn't want to play here? It starts with the owner, the gm and then the players. Pat Riely's done a great job at bringing talent here, but then again Ireland's not Pat!!!

I have not agreed with all the moves Irealand has made but after watching the movie moneyball, we have to wait and see how this thing plays out. Who knows the Dolphins might make the playoffs. One never knows. But if they don't then I believe he should go.

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