The leading contender for the Dolphins vacant general manager position?
Tom Gamble, the vice president of player personnel for the Philadelphia Eagles.
And if the Dolphins were a stable, well-led, functional franchise, I'd say they would have a great chance to get him. Gamble is eager to be contacted and would be happy to listen to the Dolphins, according to a source.
As I write in my column in today's Miami Herald the Dolphins are not exactly a model franchise. The Dolphins had issues internally part of the 2013 season, with sniping and backstabbing going on at the highest levels of the football operations.
Jeff Ireland vs. Joe Philbin.
Dawn Aponte vs. Jeff Ireland.
Aponte and Philbin forming a bond and alliance that ultimately helped bring down Miami's general manager. And whatever you think of that -- be you glad Ireland is finally gone or sad because you don't believe professionals should engage in such snakepit hijinks -- the drama matters.
Because word of the drama is already making the NFL rounds. People in franchises like the Washington Redskins, places with issues of their own, are aware of the issues the Dolphins had this year. I know this for a fact.
And the problem with that is simple: If Stephen Ross wants to hire the best and brightest individual as his next general manager, will he be able to gloss over his team's reputation to get that guy? Will he be able to provide assurances that the next GM won't be fighting an alliance of the coach and executive VP for football administration like the last GM had to?
The Philbin-Aponte axis is almost certainly going to work toward getting a weak GM to the Dolphins. The last thing Philbin wants is for Ross to give the next GM the power to fire him after the 2014 season is over. So Philbin wants his pal Aponte over that GM. He wants that hire to be just a talent evaluator with the title of GM but not the full weight of power that title suggests.
And again ... if Ross agrees that is the way to go, what great GM is he going to land?
It's the Dolphins doing Dolphins things.