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A second look at finalist possibilities

So who are the finalists?

Ever since my report saying the Dolphins will this weekend be interviewing the finalists for the vacant general manager job, the one thought on everyone's mind has been ... who are these guys?

Well, there seems to be much speculation and some confusion about that so allow me to dive in with my own speculation and confusion.

Late last night I was told by one NFL source two candidates who are definitely out are Pittsburgh's Omar Khan and Tennessee's Lake Dawson. Others reported the same thing. I don't care about them. That was wrong. I'm correcting me.

Khan is indeed out. Dawson, however, is in, multiple sources are telling me this morning. Dawson was always in. He is indeed a finalist for the job.

This ties closely with the fact Dawson had a good interview in Miami.

There are others and here is where the speculation begins:

I'm guessing Dolphins in-house candidate Brian Gaine will be a finalist. I have not been told this beyond doubt. But I do know the Dolphins recognize the respect Gaine has around the league. I know how he fits in being able to work with ownership, coach Joe Philbin and executive vice president of football administration Dawn Aponte.

One thing I must tell you about Gaine's candidacy that doesn't apply to any other is he's a known quantity. He has been in the Dolphins war room on draft day with owner Stephen Ross and Philbin so they know what he's like on that day. That's a view the Dolphins don't have on any other candidate.

The Dolphins also have his reports on players -- assuming he wrote some -- they can refer to. So I assume the Dolphins know with certainty how much Gaine hit and missed on players. They know whether he was truly a driving force in the chase for Cameron Wake, as has been reported, or not really.

(I was told that like everyone else in the building, Gaine was very much for getting Wake but expressed doubts about paying him the kind of guarantees the Dolphins paid him as someone jumping from the CFL).  

At any rate, my guess is Gaine will be a finalist.

I know others had great interviews with the Dolphins and I believe those resonated.

One of those is Cleveland's Ray Farmer. He was among the first candidates interviewed and I reported then he impressed in that interview.

Two things on Farmer:

He has a powerful ally in the room in that Carl Peterson, the former Kansas City Chiefs general manager and president and current Ross advisor, loves Farmer. Peterson hired Farmer in Kansas City. Peterson is intimately familiar with Farmer's abilities and potential and has passed those along to Ross.

One complaint I hear about Farmer is he's working for the Cleveland Browns. And if there is one franchise that is on the lips of NFL critics more than the Dolphins it's the Browns. So, readers continually ask me, why hire someone from the Browns?

Well, Farmer went to the Browns in 2013. He's been there one season.

I don't think you can blame the years of struggles the Browns have suffered on someone who has been in the organization one season.


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Farmer is the front runner due to Peterson having Ross's ear...whatever.

Guy from Philly had the best resume and he decided to say with the Eagles. Giants guy, same thing...as well as the guy in Seattle.

So once again the cream of the crop stayed away and we're stuck with the B player.

Hope that we can think out of the box. I'm sure they like Gaine, but they liked Speilman too. Look how that worked out.


Glad Kahn is out - a 36 year old guy who has never been a GM, thoroughly involved in drafting or even been a player. Pfft, that like a virgin approaching Jenna Jameson and telling her he can teach her a thing or two.

Glad Dawson is in - he was a good player and has some good tread under his tires on the player evaluation side of things.

Does this guy ever get anything right? That's why you lost your show to the cokehead Sid Rosenberg.

If Farmer was instrumental in getting a 1st rounder for Trent Richardson from the Colts...Its a lot better than the misses this franchise has made at the GM spot

I'm hoping for Farmer.

Don't care if it's Farmer or Dawson. Would like to keep Gaine as well with some type of small promotion to keep him happy.

Cleveland also had a nice draft last year...so that's a plus for Farmer.

Gaine will send this fanbase into a panic. he may be as qualified but man .. will Ross risk that?

in Miami it will be decisions by committee much like the jets. both teams fired their GM but kept their coach. ross is not a football guy but will meddle nonetheless. bad times ahead.

I think Gaine stays and gets a raise. I dont see them dumping him. Everything I read, he seems to be a team player. I will add this, under no circumstance can Ross afford to make him GM. The tidal waves that would send through the Dolphins community would be unbearable

This GM choice might be a time to see exactly how much influence Peterson has over Ross. If Farmer gets the job then it looks like Peterson has Ross's ear more then the others. I would think that Gaine would be the choice of Philbin and Aponte as they already have dealt with him and know what they are getting. Dawson would be the wold card here.

Apparently Mark and I feel the same way about Gaine. Read your post after I posted mine

At this point if I had to bet, I'd say they are going to hire Farmer. It would be great if they could retain Gaine as assistant.


Haha, rdubs, I agree completely with you. I disagree with most when I say the Dolphins drafts the last two years have been excellent. SO that's a plus for Gaine.

However, man, he has Ireland stink all over him. Which I don't think is horrible as far as drafting goes... but most disagree.

I don't think any of these three is more qualified than the other but the perceptions attached to all three are definitely different.

I give you Farmer, our soon to be GM.

Gaine will be retained.

That's what my tea leaves are telling me this morning.

Farmer should be the choice. He has played most recently when compared to other candidates, which makes him more likeable to potential free agents and draft picks. That matters. Remember Ryan Clark and his words about Ireland when they tried to lure him from Pittsburgh? A GM needs to have a good rapport with players. If players don't like your GM, your aren't going to get the cream of the crop.

The whole problem with choosing any of these guys is knowing how much stroke they had. Did they any influence choosing this or that player? If so, how much?

The good thing with Gamble was he was at least associated with so many good teams. But that train done left the station.


Mark in Toronto, you really think that Ireland had successful drafts?? Misi, Clemons, Carroll, Reshad Jones, Jerry, Spitler, Daniel Thomas etc. All these guys are average players. It doesn't mean anything that the Dolphins gave some of them extensions when those extensions are coming from a guy who doesn't evaluate talent effectively.

Ireland always thought he was a genius and tried to outsmart other GM's by selecting these guys you've never heard of. His arrogance was his downfall.

Posted by: CutlerRidge Laz | January 23, 2014 at 10:31 AM


from the last blog....sorry....

@ 10:40 is on point....

I stopped hating the PATS long ago as well...now I just admire the machine....

I wish we were there rivals....but to be honest....the PATS have no natural enemies....thats what happens when you are the KING predator.....

I was actually rooting for them to beat the Broncos.....but I don't either can beat the Seahawks....

Posted by: Kris (in Germany) | January 23, 2014 at 10:46 AM


If a player is not a good to very good player in college, it is exceedingly unlikely and rare to see that player become a great NFL player. Thats not to say there aren't exceptions, but those are few and far between.

I believe I said, Belichick is 1 of the Top 5 Coaches of All-Time. That as a personnel guy he sucks is besides the point. My Top 5: 1.P.Brown, 2.D.Shula, 3.V.Lombardi, 3.G.Halas, 4. T.Landry, 5. Belichick.


Wasn't most of the people here saying that a GM should be over a Coach? That would mean you know the difference between a guy who picks talent and a guy who coaches up talent!!

Belichick is one of the Best at Coaching Talent!! Which gives him a huge flaw at picking talent. He tries to pick players that he can coach up. Where others have failed he wants to succeed.

Patsies fans in here on a weekday. Not good.

Gaine's contract runs through after the draft. Most FO exectives are fired after the draft. So Gaine will be retained at least through the draft.

I vote for Farmer.

I said above ... "the last two drafts have been excellent"


Tannehill is as promising as any young Qb in the game

Vernon was 5th in the NFl in sacks in his 2nd season

Miller looks like a competent speed back at minimum

Egnew for where he was drafted was worth a shot. Guy has superior atheltic skills and good production in college. So far it hasn't panned out - but he gets another chance next year.

Rishard Matthews has been an excellent contributor as a 5th wr - no star by any means but to already get this kind of return on a 7th round pick is solid


Dion jordan - future many time pro bowler

Jamar Taylor - will be a very good corner and starter for many years. In my own opinion - I think he was the best corner in last year's draft.

Will Davis - Playmaker in the 2nd-ary. he gets his hands on the ball a lot.

jelani jenkins - as athletic as any OLB drafted last year - very good talent - durability concerns but for where he was drafted - excellent value.

So again, when we talk about draft so close to the year it took place - this is all conjecture and opinion. But i see the approach and really liked it.

A lot of high ceiling superior athletes drafted in posiitons of making plays... of course they all won't turn out but that's par for the course.

To agree with your opinion - I hated the 2010 draft. I thought that one was ripe with playmakers and they seemed to miss the boat at every turn.

A Realist, what are you talking about of the players you mentioned only Misi and Thomas were high round picks. That's a terrible example of why Ireland's draft were bad. The case you're make is quite the opposite, the players you mentioned are mostly 6th and 7th round draft choices that have contributed. Most drafts are successful if 40% of drafted player contribute. Ireland did get contribution from lower round choices. His problem was getting contribution from high choices.

As Rick Pitino once said: "Larry Bird isn't walking through that door." We have what we have as far as applicants. No need to speculate on who is staying away or who we are missing on. Fill the position and give someone a chance to make a name for themselves. I would rather start our own legacy then try and revive the glory years of a Pioli (with Atlanta now) and Polian. My vote is for Farmer.

..Dashi..Good post @10:54...Also I think people need to give respect to Paul Brown..So many put Lombardi at the top of Rushmore for HC's..And perhaps he was. But Brown won 7 titles in 10 years, the other 3 they played for the cup. He is also responsible for the practice squad, and was the first coach to use game tape. I'm not sure where Lomabardi changed the game like Paul Brown.

DD. he is also the only coach in all of sports to have a team named after him...

Altho, maybe Sir Alex Ferguson should have Man U named after him with the way they play without him...

If dolfans had any votes on the matter, I'd vote for Farmer too.

Mark in Toronto, you really think that Ireland had successful drafts?? Misi, Clemons, Carroll, Reshad Jones, Jerry, Spitler, Daniel Thomas etc. All these guys are average players. It doesn't mean anything that the Dolphins gave some of them extensions when those extensions are coming from a guy who doesn't evaluate talent effectively.

i felt like puking after reading these names......... such B level players!!!!! Pathetic

loso204, like I said they are all low round choice except for Misi and Thomas, by getting production out of lower round chioce the drafts look better. Whether you like it or not getting Jones to the Pro Bowl last year as a 4th round choice was good.


What are you smoking this morning? 'If a player wasn't good in College he won't be good in the pros...there are exceptions'.

Would Tim Tebow be an exception? Nobody had a better College career than TimTebow. His game just didn't translate well to the pros.

I guess the exceptions you are talking about are Kurt Warner, Russell Wilson, Alfred Morris, Arian Foster, Matt Hasselback, Brett Favre, Brandon Marshall, Drew Brees, Shady McCoy, Roger Staubach, Tony Romo, Matt Cassell, Marques Colston, CameronWake, Terrell Davis, Rich Gannon, Trent Green, ......

THOSE exceptions? Missing your point totally bud.....

I don't see the logic about not selecting Gaine. They know his track record. If it has been good then hire him. Deal with the upset fan base by leaking specific info about why he was hired. All the know-little upset fans should then be ok.

B level players that were taken with b level draft picks - except for Misi and Thomas. I think he sucked as far as drafting more often than not in the 2nd round. His firsts were good players - his late picks pretty good. His 2nds tho, except for Sean Smith - garbage.

Clemons 6th
Carroll 5th
Reshad 6th
Jerry 3rd
Spitler 7th

You cant have a team with 22 All-Pros on it. Even the best teams are compiled of average players, they just also have the playmakers that raises their team. So your point remains retardo. Sorry for butting in. Have nice day.

Hey Mark,
I'm over here now

Puke all you want Loso, the names mention are low round choices except for Thomas and Misi. Jones made the Pro Bowl as a 4th round choice, Carroll will make a lot f money based on his play this tear after being a 7th round pick, Spitler is a valuable ST contribute as a 7th round pick, Clemon has been medeocre, but he was a low pick as well. So all those picks are contributing.

Drew Brees was awesome at Purdue. Won the Rose Bowl I believe. When has Purdue ever done anything in College football without Brees? I followed that guy from early on in his college career. And was almost suicidal when jamar Taylor was drafted by Wannstedt instead when we already had Madison and Surtain in their primes...

I hate Wannstedt.


Agreed. P.Brown doesn't get the credit he deserves. He basically invented the Modern game. He also Created 2 Franchises(Browns and Bengals) He Taught B.Walsh the WCO.

Landry is the only one that isn't solid on my list. But unless Belichick wins at least 1 more title I have Landry above him.

....Mark in Toronto. My best friend is from Manchester. He is the guy that got me into footie. He is just praying United can sneak into the 4th spot at this point. If you think this blog is all over the place. You should check out Republik of Mancunia. Those guys are freeking out on that site. Can't handle a bit of adversity. I thought it wouldn't matter who United hired as the gaffer. They would struggle this year. They need to sell Rooney.. They have plenty of goals with Chicharito, Van Persie, and Kagawa. They need a dominant mid fielder.


From earlier....

Ideally we draft a guard early. Not sure that guy is really there in the first round. I'd be more comfortable drafting a tackle, as it appears thats where the value is.

I disagree. I think this guy will start from day one and I think he'll be better than McKinnie. McKinnie was here for how many games? 6? 8? He played OK but lets not make him out to be a star. He look less than average including the game against the Bills in Buffalo. I think the team is making a big mistake if they count on McKinnie.

And you say the LT won't start from day one. Your WR won't start from day one either. We're going. To get the 3rd or 4th WR in the draft,just like OT and no way that guy starts over Wallace or Hartline. Its also not Philbin's way to play rookies from the get-go. So i think you're kidding yourself if you think we're getting an instant star at WR from the get-go.

Armando has to be just about the worst reporter that has anything to do with the NFL. This guy is an agenda driven hack who throws crap against the wall to see what sticks. What a joke. These blogs are garbage.

One other thing,Mark.....

I also think you're kidding yourself if you're getting all those FA's for $15-20 mil. grimes and Soliai will command that by themselves.

Toronto was ok, but I like traveling


When you sign FA's the first year is usually a small cap hit. It is usually years 2-4 when it starts getting expensive. 2014 I could see Soliai and Grimes probably costing us about 10 mill year one

Problem with Ireland drafts are the 1st-2nd rd misses. This is where you look to find your "immediate impact players". Or Pro Bowl/ All-Pro calibers.

No Posters, in their "right mind" here can say Ireland grades more than a "D" in this area.

I mean, who really cares he found some mid to late rd talent that merely grades as contributors or average NFL starters at best. It's not like they threaten Pro Bowl, nor even pro bowl alternates, at best.

These are players that should "COMPLIMENT" the success a gm has in the 1st 2rds of a draft, not become his crowning achievements.

That's why overall, being sane and rational, you can give Ireland no more than a D at best, when it comes to "IMPACT DRAFTING". If your drafts are never having a great impact, these drafts are MEDIOCRE at best.

Chief reason why, after 6yrs, we still find ourselves in "perennial rebuild" mode.


And how much guaranteed money do you think Grimes will want? Keep in mind this guy as probably our best player this year. More than likely i believe he'll be franchised. Thats a $10 mil cap hit right there.

The guy's in the driver's seat. There'll be demand for his services and he knows the 'phins have $35 mil in cap space.


He will probably get a big signing bonus and a smallish first year salary and as you know that signing bonus gets split up over the entire contract. I see a first year cap hit about 7-8 mil. the year after probably jumps to over 10. But who knows, maybe his age will factor in. 1 thing is for sure, Dawn can make it work.

It looks like the Dolphins are doing all the work to get the right GM. The Bucs just went over this blog and sign Jason Licht as their new GM. CLEVER!!!

Looks like Pettine, the Bill's DCis the new HC for the Browns. This is good news for the Dolphins.

Does anyone know if Sherman or Ireland are being interviewed by other teams?


Just thought you guys needed a good laugh this morning.

DD, tehy've needed a MF forever - Ferguson isgnored this for some reason.

And they better get ready to struggle. there is a conspriacy theory in the EPl that is similar to the one I subscribe to here that Man U got the beenfit of many calls during Ferguson's tenure. I am not at all surprised at their fall without Ser Alex. They don't have the money to spend with Chelsea and Man City either. Not going to get any better any time soon.

The poster mentioned specific players, and specific draft years. I was addressing the impact those specific player had on the Fins. It is important for any GM to find player that contribute in lower rounds. The quality of higher draft choices is mized. 2012 Draft, RT developing QB good pick, Vernon 10 1/2 sacks only will get better good pick, Richard Matthews broke through this year good pick. 2011 draft Pounce is an Pro Bowler, Clay should have been, Jimmy Wilson play well as the nickle. Most draft are a success with 40% of the draft choices being contributors. Not one member of the Colt's 2010 draft are with the team now. None on the 2007 NE Pat draft choices are with the team now.


And he is the perfect coach for that division. I am so glad he isnt in Buffalo anymore. He really coached his butt off this year

Craig, Wallace has a $3m cap hit this year on his $60M contract. you can massage things. Only way Grimes has a $10M cap hit is if he is franchised.

So it just keeps getting better. Every day we see why Philbin was retained while Ireland was fired. I just read this, take it for what it's worth. "Sources say", you know the drill.

"However, according to a source, Coach Joe Philbin wanted the Dolphins to trade for Albert last offseason. And then-GM Jeff Ireland overruled it.
Ireland told Philbin that the Dolphins would be fine moving Jonathan Martin to left tackle.

Martin, who played right tackle for the Dolphins as a rookie, mostly struggled this season on the left side. The Dolphins moved him back to right tackle after they benched Tyson Clabo and traded for Bryant McKinnie midway through the year.
A week later, Martin left the team and created a firestorm by accusing teammate Richie Incognito and other Dolphins players of harassing him. The case is still being investigated by the NFL.
Miami’s offensive line allowed a franchise-record 58 sacks this year. It might have been a different story with Albert."

Andrew Abramson

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