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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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Craig M,
Of course people judge a draft AFTER THE FACT - that is how you do it. Hello!
When people judge a draft before the season starts, it's called a PREDICTION. Duh.
Can I help you with anymore remedial English lessons today?

rdubs, further to my post, yeah, signing all those free agents would cost something like $15-20M against the cap in year one... if we arerolling over the remainder of the $40M in that scenario, our cap space for 2015 would be

$59M less whatever inflated cap hit you would have for those 2nd years of the deals for the guys signed this year - say about $35M (~5 players at ~7m) or so - still laaves $24m. Then you can save another $10M by axing Ellerbe if he doesn't shape up. A further $10M on Wake if he falls off next year ...my goodness the cap flexibility is endless with this team....


Been looking for the 'McKinnie' round and either that's not been determined yet or I just can't find it! Sorry!


He's saying...(if I may speak for Just Saying)....

Not bad for a team devoid of talent....

we should be so lucky.....

When CHEAPO ROSS leaves 30 mill in cap space he isnt even trying to win. Wake up and smell the con man.


3 main reasons Pats are good

1.Belly is a GREAT GREAT coach( We didnt say he isnt)

2.Tom Brady

3. Smart usage of FA, doesnt overspend, but is good at plugging holes

We were just saying that Belly's drafts are very mediocre. Can you argue that point? That is all I am saying

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | January 23, 2014 at 02:34 PM

Why does everyone forget to calculate the $10 million for signing rookies, practice squad, and "IN SEASON" personnel "OPERATING CAPITAL".

So in essence, if you have $38 million in cap space, you really have $28 million signing fa's. Your own included. It'll really dry up quickly if Grimes is franchised. That alone is $11 million.

Branden Albert(pro bowler) will be $9.5 to at least $10.5 million. Unless he gets a Wallace type contract and plays for about $8 million the 1st year, then about $13 million the 2nd year. Still the the 2nd yr is ballooned, decreasing cap space the 2nd season.

agree with some here that it appears we're again choosing from the B list....but we (and everybody else) really wont know that for a few years.....AND, to that fact, consider that some QBs that were recently considered B list talent include Russell Wilson, Kaepernick, Foles.....Brees not too many years ago, some guy named Brady a few more years ago.....and some dude named Marino, many years ago--nobody really knows for sure, so relax

Sam, under my scenario, they would be left with $25M for rookies and in season management, is that enough for you.

Again, Albert would not cost $10M against the cap year one, neither would Grimes, he's getting a long term deal.

Their cap hits would be less than half of that.

AGAIN, for the people who don't get it (Daytona), Wallace was a $3M cap hit last year on a $60M contract.

Suffice it to say, pro football was a welcome and popular relief in the postwar years. And the Browns dominated those years like no team has ever dominated football before or since. We turned to the Buddha of gridiron enlightenment, the Cold, Hard Football Facts, and can now declare in no uncertain terms that the postwar Browns are the greatest dynasty in pro football history. Here's why:

The Browns appeared in 10 straight championship games. The modern football public is amazed by the Bills of the early 1990s who appeared in four straight Super Bowls. The Browns played for a championship every year from 1946 to 1955. They won seven times ('46, '47, '48, '49, '50, '54, '55). The Vince Lombardi Packers appeared in six title games in eight years, winning five.

The Browns dominated two leagues. Cleveland won all four AAFC championships before the league merged with the NFL in 1950. The Browns proved they were no junior-league fluke with a 10-2 record and a victory over the Los Angeles Rams in the 1950 NFL championship game. Groza's last-second field goal gave Cleveland the 30-28 victory. The Browns made it to the NFL title game but lost each year from 1951 to 1953. They returned to championship form in 1954 and 1955.

The 1948 Browns were undefeated. Like the 1972 Dolphins, the 1948 Browns went 14-0 in the regular season and won their league title. But because it happened in the AAFC, the NFL does not recognize the undefeated 1948 Browns -- the only other team to go through both the regular and postseasons without a loss. (The Dolphins played three postseason games and went 17-0; the Browns played just one postseason game and went 15-0).

[the Browns are by FAR the greatest dynasty in pro football history...the Patriots cannot touch their era of dominance]

Also remember how unused cap space is rolled forward and how many of those bloated salaries have zero dead money attached so the team can say see you later.

Take Wallace for example, the most extreme big money contract scenario, they can let him go in 2015 and save $6M against the cap.

So in essense, these MASSIVE football contracts are in effect 2 or three year deals. Non guaranteed contracts are a beautiful thing when structured right - like Dawn does a great job in doing.

A further $10M on Wake if he falls off next year ...my goodness the cap flexibility is endless with this team....

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | January 23, 2014 at 02:43 PM

I know many dolfans would be against it, but we should use Wake as trade bait this offseason. As an organization, either we believe in Dion Jordan or we don't. For what we paid, a 1st and 2nd rd pick, the future should be now. Not tomorrow.

Plus Wake isnt getting any younger. We would get our greatest value for him by trading him now. RIGHT NOW, we could easily get a 1st rd pick for him. No less than two 2nds.

I know it sounds crazy, but, either Dion Jordan is or he isnt. The draft ransom paid says his future should be NOW!

like Dawn does a great job in doing.
Posted by: Mark in Toronto | January 23, 2014 at 02:56 PM

Homer, if everyone is so great how come we stink so bad?


Might want to add the caveat, the new GM needs to make sure he picks the right FA. Cuz putting this money off tll next year and beyond and makes it a lot worse when you are stuck with an overpaid crappy player, like Tippie Toes Wheeler

Sam, I am at the café now. I took the liberty of ordering for you although the waiter didn't speak much English (but what a Hungarian Hunk!). Hurry on over!

Mark in Toronto--I didn't leave that last post, FYI. Being impostered here but I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

A 1st for Wake? Not happening.

of course Rdubs, that's why I said, it depends on how much the Gm wants to stick his neck out there. It's easier and less expensive to draft the palyer to plug a hole but most of the times it also comes at the hinderence of overall team performance. For once, I would love for a GM to dare to be great.

Might help if you already hired an extremely rich guy to do this job because he could give a crap about getting fired or not. Jerry Jones is the closest to this in the NFL - but lacks the football acumen to pull it off.

Homer, if everyone is so great how come we stink so bad?

Posted by: history didn't begin in 2000 |


I wouldn't even begin to try and argue against what Belicheat has done....doing so is an exercise in futility.....

The media tells us Belicheat doesn't have talent.....his record year after year will tell you otherwise....

Like DC said....even without Brady he went 11-5 on his "talentless" team...so it can be argued that Belicheat makes Brady.....

I'm arguing that Belicheat has enough talent year in and year out to compete for the SB....

and I don't know how you can seperate the two (talent/coaching)......its like arguing the chicken or egg....when a team has had as much success as he has had....

AGAIN, for the people who don't get it (Daytona), Wallace was a $3M cap hit last year on a $60M contract.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | January 23, 2014 at 02:54 PM

Totally meaningless. Borrowed money. He counts $17 million this year.

Sad thing is, if we have $19 million in 2013 carryover cap money, there was no reason to structure Wallace's 1st two yrs in this manner.

Subtract $7 million from the $19 million, we could have paid Wallace a total of $10 million(3+7) last season, and still have a $12 million carryover into this season.

So why structure Wallace to receive only $3 million his 1st season when we did not spend the $19 million in cap space leftover anyway?

These are the kind on none sensical things that happened in the Jeff Ireland era.

Jason La Canfora ‏@JasonLaCanfora 1m

John Wooten of Fritz Pollard Alliance told me Browns exec Ray Farmer mulling over 2nd interview w/MIA. Farmer's decision likely w/in an hour

Sam, the more you save now, the more you get to roll over, giving you more cap space in the future.

Rule #1 of getting rich. use other people's money. Same principle applies here.

He didn't even mention Dennis Hickey & reports said that he hit it out of the park in front of Stephen Ross. Armando Salgeuro's articles are always biased & without merit, so you have to take his reasoning with a grain of salt. I think the only 3 finalist's are going to be Ray Farmer, Dennis Hickey & Brian Gaine, with Ray Farmer as the likely winner of the job. I am almost sure that Omar Khan & Lake Dawson have been ruled out already.

Parcells/Ireland did not take Long because they thought he was BPA - they took him because they felt it was easier for a LT to make the transition to the NFL than a QB. It's all out there for everyone to see.
"Parcells recently told Miami Herald columnist Armando Salgeuro he could understand the idea that "maybe we should have" taken Ryan instead of Long in 2008."
That draft was also loaded with tackle talent so a good one could have been snatched later in the draft:
"The Falcons took the opposite approach, picking the best quarterback in the draft and targeting protection in the 21st slot. It was such a deep draft for tackles. The first eight tackles taken that year -- as late as the 59th pick -- have started at least two seasons."
Time for me to put this to rest and go back to my 6 figure a year job.


A 1st for Wake? Not happening.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | January 23, 2014 at 03:04 PM

Desperation makes "strange bed fellows". So, anything's possible. That's why I say "dangle the bait now". Wake isn't getting any younger.

Which is why I also added "two 2nds". Hell, I would take a 2nd and 3rd rd pick for Wake if I were gm, if 100% convinced Dion Jordan is the "now" and the future.

Tell you what though, for the price paid for Jordan, it would be "HIGHLY DISAPPOINTING" if he isn't starting somewhere on the defense in 2014. That's a fact, Jack.

In vertebrates the gallbladder (cholecyst, gall bladder or biliary vesicle) is a small organ where bile is stored, before it is released into the small intestine. In humans, the removal of the gallbladder, in most cases, has little to no effect on the body. The surgical removal of the gallbladder is called a cholecystectomy.

Posted by: Rdubs | January 23, 2014 at 03:06 PM

What's there to "mull over"? It's a promotion, more money, we're bad but at least we're not CLEVELAND! If this guy is still "thinking about it" things are worse than even Mando's making it out to be. La Canfora is a tool, so let's hope he hasn't a clue what he's talking about.

a nobody is
mulling the phinz gig
what a pos franchise

ross u jaxaxx
just put
a big turd
on the phinz helmets

where's that
corpse u were talkin' 'bout?
just prop it up
behind the gm's desk and
ross is done

The main purpose of the gallbladder is to store bile, or gall. The gallbladder is part of the biliary system and serves as a reservoir for bile, which is produced by the liver. The liver produces the bile and then it flows through the bile ducts into the gallbladder. The gallbladder releases the bile in response to a hormone called cholecystokinin, which is released from the small intestine. When the bile is released, it is released into the small intestine and its purpose is to break down large fat molecules into smaller ones. After the fat is absorbed, the bile is also absorbed and transported back to the liver for reuse.


What am I missing? The Browns won THREE NFL Championships over a 6 year period. '50, followed by wins in '54 and '55. Work with me on this but I'm not seeing the 'greatest' NFL team of all time! With roughly 10 teams in the league? Or was it 12?

I'm arguing that Belicheat has enough talent year in and year out to compete for the SB....
and I don't know how you can seperate the two (talent/coaching)......its like arguing the chicken or egg....when a team has had as much success as he has had....

If you take the same team that you refered to that won without Brady and gave that to, lets say a Cam Cameron or a Tony Sparano.. the outcome is different. Thats how you seperate talent from coaching.

Sam, the more you save now, the more you get to roll over, giving you more cap space in the future.

Rule #1 of getting rich. use other people's money. Same principle applies here.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | January 23, 2014 at 03:08 PM

We didn't save anything. We pay it out this season. Basically, Im saying with $19 million roller, what was the point of structuring Wallace's 1st year the way we did?

The extra money wasn't used to make the team better.

It's like I owe you 10 bucks. Have the 10 bucks to pay you, but only pay you 3 bucks, and say I'll give4 you the other 7 bucks later.

Then I never spend those 7 bucks. So, why not just give you the 3+7 buck now? I never "did anything with those 7 bucks anyway". Right?

So Ray Farmer has been offered a second interview but hes undecided on whether he should accept this while process has become a joke?? What in the 2nd interview does he need to show he didnt in the first.

Just hire the guy he cant be any worse than Ireland or Philbin.

..Sam..Good post about Wallace' Contract. 17 million for 1 player that isn't a quarterback. Wow. This has nothing to do with Wallace. But we had better be grooming a quarterback starting now. I doubt it is Devlin, I doubt it is Moore. We have 2 years and Tannehill is up for renewal. We had better protect our investment by preparing for the worst. Why wait until judgement day when we can do the dirty work now? 2 years is plenty of time to learn how to play the position within this system.. I would go as far as exploring as high as round 3 to find a guy. This is a position in the draft I think a lot of people are over looking. We have no idea if Tannehill will be of any value in 2 years.

Back to Wallace. It gets better for us in 2015. But even if we trade him. We are on the hook for 6 mil in dead money over the time of 2015-2017. We are still paying Dansby his bonus. 17 million for 2014? And I was a Wallace guy. That is too much money for almost any position player.

the snitch
in the pant suit Aponte
wants 2 c
his member

I wouldn't throw out Ryan or Flacco. I argued back the the Fins should have drafted Ryan. I dont know if he would have had the success here that he has had in Atlanta, but at the time Parcells was looking down the road and picked Long. Not a bad pick. On the other hand Parcells was building a team like he had in NY. Big o line, run oriented, supported by strong defense, and a plug a play QB types. JJ wanted to recreate a Dallas offense in Miami. They drafted to their succesful indentities. Fast foward to Ireland. No real identity of his own. Tried to emulate Dallas under both Parcells and JJ by going after o lineman later in the drafts, sans Long which was all Parcells. So the question still remains what is the current Fins team looking to become? If Philbin wants to run a WCO, and zone blocking schemes, then something has to give. What gives is pocket passing. WCO and zone blockers are lighter than straight up pass blockers. That's fine, but it is not conducive when your run tame is stopped or the o coordinator gives up on it. Defenses will tee up big time if the Fins have to come back.

So, who ever is picked, Farmer, Gaine, or someone else has to be aligned with the WCO Philbin like and Lazor is expected to execute. It will be interesting to see the draft and FA unfold. I think that will be telling as to whether or not 2014 will be an improvement.

What are they going to discuss in the 2nd interview they didnt in the first?


The Browns (like the 49ers) did start life in the AAFC but nobody who knows their history would ever dispute they were by FAR the most dominant team in all of pro football at the time.

When they entered the NFL in 1950 they immediately dominated the league...and continued to do so for the next five years.

In all, the Browns appeared in TEN STRAIGHT Championship games, winning seven of them. Nobody in pro football history has ever come close to matching that kind of dominance over that length of time.

I'm not discounting the Patriots excellence at all, but the Browns were the greatest dynasty.

Tannehill,Jordan,Miller,Jerry,Thomas,Egnew etc good picks??????? jeeeeeessssss what have you guys been smokin? The only thing Ireland was picking at was his zits!!
And just for Daryldunphy...Arsenal for the Premiership!!

17 million for 2014? And I was a Wallace guy. That is too much money for almost any position player.

Posted by: darryldunphy | January 23, 2014 at 03:24 PM

It's not to much money. We're paying him $10 million a year. Dumb Ireland and Aponte paid him $3 million in 2013, and "owes him $7 million".

He's making $10 million in 2014, plus the $7 million the "team owes him" from 2013(total $17M). Get it now?

I was telling MIT it was stupid because with $19M 2013 carryover, they could have paid Wallace those $7M in 2013. They did nothing else with the money. The $19M 2013 carryover to 2014's cap is evidence of that.

What are they going to discuss in the 2nd interview they didnt in the first?

Posted by: Ray McDonald | January 23, 2014 at 03:26 PM


Is there something so unique about a finalist for a job being called back for a second interview? That's pretty much how it works in EVERY business.

Honest to God, some of the things you people get upset about are just ludicrous.

Sam, there are numerous added benefits, financial amongst them of delaying the cap hit. What if the cap goes up? What if Wallace goes out and gets injured - he gets IR'd - we get the additioanl cap space. Also allocating a lot of the deal to the 2nd year is planning on when to spend most of the obligation in years that will hurt us least. i.e. Wallace was signed day one - it gave us the most cap flexibility for th rest of the offseason which had just started. The team still wanted to sign jake Long, was kicking teh tires on Albert, etc. Also in year two, you are not paying qb money to anyone so it let's you sneak by a big chunk of the deal without choking you on down the road.

It was actaully quite shrewd to set up the obligations this way.

"Good Grief" 100% agreed on that. Ross and the Dolphins have given me plenty to complain about but calling in a GM candidate for a second interview is NOT one of them!

As you said, that's how business works. Maybe some of these guys have never been interviewed for anything aside from 'janitor' or 'lawn maintenance expert' and don't understand that!

Belichick gets the most ouf of his talent. But this doesn't let him off the hook for basically shackeling Brady to a stable of platoon running backs, possession receivers, and sidelined tight ends who they knew were as unreliable as they are talented. Since Randy Moss' final days in New England, they haven't attempted to find Brady a true threat on the outside. Peyton Manning has Demaryius Thomas. Tom Brady has Austin Collie. Ouch. If Belichick had gone after Brandon Marshall, or even Mike Wallace, like the Dolphins have over the last few years, Brady would have probably be working on his fourth or fifth Super Bowl ring.

I'll bet Alex Trebek has a cute and cuddly tummy.

Farmer now deciding whether to take a second interview per Jason Laconfora. Power structure maybe.

least bills lost a damn good d cord

imagine if farmer declines, what a disaster. all cause idiot ross for some reason has philbin on a pedastal

but mia they got moss and brady didnt get a ring

I want Farmer. But if he declines, Fukk him, I dont want him. if you are too dense to see the opportunity, then pizz off. Although I am not so sure I trust La Canfora, has been wrong alot!

rdubs not an opp if u have no control

Trying to be positive here, but I think keeping Philbin and Aponte really hurt the team in finding the best GM candidates. I'm not even really talking about the drama that Armando posted as much as the best GM candidates wanting control of the coach and the finances.

This is really starting to remind me Sparano gone, but keeping Ireland unfortunately. I hope I'm wrong.

I hear you NeMo, I would've much rather kept everyone around including Ireland for one more year than do this.

I think the next best course would be to promote Gaine and give em all a one year shot and then clear out if they miss and start from scratch next year.

Farmer does look like the best Gm candidate based on history though - let's see what happens...

Pettine over Chud?

The Browns didn't give Chud a chance. He had the team playing hard for him.

Chud already did all the hard work in Cleveland. He had to clean up the mess. The new guy just has to build.

I feel bad for the ways the Browns did Chud.


Jpao, you do realize Farmer was at the Senior Bowl, right?.....working for Cleveland. I think people are over-empasizing the importance of being at the Senior Bowl.

Posted by: Craig M | January 23, 2014 at 09:34 AM

Craig, in my earlier post I very clearly said that I know Farmer is there representing his other team. I understand he is seeing the players at the Senior Bowl.

My point was that if the Fins hired hime before this week he would have had the opportunity to engage with the coaching staff and his scouting team. He could have seen the young player talent AND assess his scouting team and began to understand his coaching staff and how they perceive talent.

It's a missed opportunity that is it.

gonna be hilarious when nfl moves super bowl to a weekday cause of weather

Sam, there are numerous added benefits, financial amongst them of delaying the cap hit. What if the cap goes up? What if Wallace goes out and gets injured - he gets IR'd - we get the additioanl cap space.

It was actaully quite shrewd to set up the obligations this way.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | January 23, 2014 at 03:36 PM


Again! WE DID NOT USE $19M of 2013's CAP MONEY? Subtract $7M. We still would have $12M carryover. Our 2014 cap wuld still be the same as now. Only difference is we would be paying Wallace $10M this year instead of $17M. Wallace's 2014 $17M is still GUARANTEED.

Only "SHREWED" thing about this is Ireland/Aponte allowed ROSS to get additional "INTEREST" on that $7M, if this money "SITS" in an interest bearing account.

You say by profession you are an accountant. You should know these things, right?

Plus the $7M not paid to Wallace in 2013, was not used to make the team better right? It would make more sense had Ireland made the "Albert trade", then that money would have been put to "IMMEDIATELY" help us become a "BETTER 2013 TEAM". Right?

It isn't "SHREWED" when the money sat and did absolutely nothing. Being an accountant, Im sure you would not advise any of your clients to have their money sit and do absolutely nothing, then consider it shrewd advice, right?

Cost of living alone eats at it at 3% in the U.S. money doing absolutely nothing is always a "losing proposition, correct?

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