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In shadow of Bess trade, Dolphins looking for integrity

When Dolphins owner Stephen Ross released a statement telling the world what kind of person he wants as the team's next general manager he included this sentence:  "This individual also must be a person with integrity who is open-minded and creative."

"Integrity" is a word that should not be ignored here. Ross, I'm told,  wanted that in there because right now the Dolphins don't have a very good reputation within the NFL personnel community for, among other things, the manner they traded Davone Bess.

Bess, as has been widely reported this week, is troubled. And as The Herald reported this week, he was troubled before the Dolphins traded him in April 2013 to the Cleveland Browns. Less than one month before shipping Bess out, the Dolphins learned Bess's family had him Marchman Acted so he could be evaluated and receive treatment for the emotional or psychological issues that seemed to be troubling him.

But while the Dolphins knew Bess was troubled, sources confirm they took a don't-ask-don't-tell approach on the matter when shopping and trading Bess. The Dolphins did not offer information on Bess's apparent personal instability, according to multiple sources.

[Update: Another source confirms the Dolphins did not offer information but did tell the Browns to "do their homework."]

Now, an aqua-and-orange bleeding Dolphins fan might smile and consider this a coup. They might think the Dolphins pulled the wool over the Browns. Ha-ha, yeah too bad. Buyer beware.

That is not how most NFL teams conduct business.

Most would have simply cut Bess rather than run the risk of seemingly serving up a potential lemon without some sort of disclosure to another team. Why is this?

Well, because even though players come and players go, and front office people come and front office people go, teams remain. And personal reputations remain.

And having a reputation as a team or individual that cannot be a trusted trade partner is a bad thing. You can be certain the people who made the trade for Cleveland will never trust former Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland again. You can also be certain the Browns will likely be distrustful of the Dolphins in the future unless fences are mended.

Credibility and respect are currency in the NFL and no one wants to be bankrupt. 

You have no idea how many NFL people I talk to tell me about the respect they have for one another despite the fact they want to bash each other's heads in on game day.

Once upon a time the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys fought for NFC East dominance year in and out. And yet Tom Landry served up advice to young Bill Parcells. The Oakland Raiders roster was known an NFL rogue's gallery and yet Al Davis offered advice to practically any young coach or personnel man who called.

There was an honor code among these men and although the times have changed, much of that code remains. Not all of it, but much of it.

The Dolphins broke that code by not disclosing Bess's problems to the Browns. Indeed, if they'd decided they didn't want to break confidence with the Bess family because their son had been a valued member of the organization for four years, the right move would have been to simply cut Bess and walk away.

That message, I'm told has reached Dolphins ownership.

And that's one reason the word "integrity" was used in the statement Steve Ross released when he began searching for a new GM. 


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And having a reputation as a team or individual that cannot be a trusted trade partner is a bad thing.

The Fins, as far as I can recall never herd of brandon marshalls BPD. I think we have been on both sides of your point. Also, I just keep thinking of jeffs contract extension during the season while some of this dysfunction was happening in the executive branch of the organization. Something just doesn't add up.

Are we to believe Ross didn't know about the Bess situation before they traded him?

CBS' Jason LaCanfora reported Saturday night that candidates for the Dolphins general manager job have been kept in the dark and that Ross is now headed to London for a week and then China. So when can the Dolphins expect to conduct the so called 2nd round of interviews? Or have they chosen someone and will announce with Ross overseas?

From Barry Jackson...So why is Dolphins owner Stephen Ross keeping Joe Philbin after ditching Jeff Ireland and Mike Sherman, rather than letting the new general manager pick the coach? Ross respects Philbin’s integrity, his organizational skills, the way he carries himself.

So Philbin has such great integrity he had to inform the Browns of Bess? And don't tell me Philbins not involved in player moves. Who got rid of Marshall, Dansby and Burnett?

Ross has a long way to go before he can use the word, integrity. we needed to clean house and didnt.

Sorry Mando this is weak. Booo Hooo Hooo...Let's all shed a tear for the Browns. SMH...Everyday Ross is losing more and more credibility with this fan.

BTW...What did the Phins get for Bess? As I recall the compensation was a joke. Did the Phins also make the Browns sign Bess to an extension? What about the larceny committed by the Browns on the Colts over the Richardson? That guy stinks. Did the Browns tell the Colts just how mediocre Richardson is???

As a matter of fact I would like to say good job to the Phins for parting with Bess before he went into self destructive mode.

It's like selling someone a car you know will break down,not very good business.Another black eye for the dolphins organization.

Speaking of integrity...Mr. Ross how about when you told us this franchise would be transparent? Was it not later revealed that Bess also had a fractured vertebrae? Was that an example of integrity? I know Philbin is innocent and in his best Sgt Schultz impersonation....I hear nothing, I see nothing, I know nothing.

We are on of poorest sports organizations in all sports. We must be view as a joke.


I guess Andy Reid and the Philly organization didn;t get the memo when they sent us AJ Feely....

"that is not how NFL teams do business"

Anything you say, Salguero. Businessmen come to the NFL and forget everything they did that enabled them to buy an NFL team. Must be something Goodell puts in the water.

What's funny is Salguero's own colleague Adam Beasley wrote in his column today that the NFL is very much a "buyer beware" business. Don't you two talk?

Maybe the Browns did know, but wanted to take a small risk for a potentially big reward.

Dear Mr.Ross,If you are looking for a GM that will bring in absolute talent,then hire Pat Riley. When Riley signs a free agent or makes a trade the Heat get better,unlike the Dolphins. Even great players become mediocre when signing with the Fins. Of course,comparing you to Mickey Arison would be like comparing apples to oranges. Just sayin

Let's just go to red lobster ,',,,it will be ok

Armando writing an article about integrity, respect and honor. That's rich Armando, that's really rich.

This is so brilliant I have to post it again:

I figured out the Ross philosophy. It works the same way when your talking to someone with bad breath.

The Dolphins AKA (defecating demons) smell so bad that good teams are too busy gagging to concentrate, that's why we beat them (Pats, Chargers, etc..)

It doesn't work on bad teams because they are use to the bad smell.

Posted by: Brilliant Philosopher | January 19, 2014 at 08:39 AM

I long for the day when the world ( NFL or othersise ) was as simplistic as your column would dictate. We live
in an overly litigious society where ever word is parsed
and framed. And you know that ! How could you possibly
know that Jeff Ireland was trying to "get over" on the
Browns ? The next thing we know you'll be following a
story where a national figure will proclaim that" I
did not have sex with that woman ". Happy holiday !

How will all this affect the evaluation or hiring of Farmer, the Browns personnel executive, for the Dolphins GM job? Do you think this matter was talked about during Farmer's interview? Does Farmer think the Dolphins acted truthfully?

I am starting to believe they have their eye on a specific person for the GM position and maybe this person is not able to interview at this time because they are with one of the last playoff teams.

Maybe they thought a change of scenery would do Bess some good. I mean Brandon Marshall was a spouse-abusing, butterfingers when he was in Miami. Did the Bears not know this!? And low and behold, he's a superstar again once he was traded. The only team thats always in the dark is Miami.

And to think there were "bloggers" here who are upset with letting Ireland go & were a stanch defender of him for years, even when results did not merit support.

Ross is no man to talk about integrity. He is still probably the biggest issue with the franchise. Anyone recall how he tried to hire Harbaugh while Sporano was still coach?

Yea, that reeks of hypocrisy, among other things NO integrity.

did anyone else have their bowel movement yet this morning? I just pinched a Ross.

oh my gosh, another article on the dolphins, this is so exciting waiting and wondering and debating what this pompous arrogant dufus of an owner is going to do

Posted by: Dz NUTS | January 19, 2014 at 08:54 AM

I'm starting to believe after 25 years as a dolphins fan that it's time to move on. I hate the feeling of indifference to the point where I just don't care anymore. I use to hate the Pats, but now I look forward to watching them. It's a pleasure to watch a professional organization and a great QB. Dolphins are embarrassingly sad and it's been waaaay to long

Doesn't this all go in line with the moral decay of thr NFL and our society in general. A sketchy business deal... i'm shocked...lol. We have a documented cheating patriots team and now an nfl that cheats for them (2 to 3 obvious calls practically everygame in critical situations). Im sure it has nothing at all to do with wanting a brady vs manning matchup... no couldnt be. Or letting pro sports players know the dates to when they will be tested for steroids... they'd never want to give them a heads up so theh can come off their cycles. Or a president who would lie about how his healthcare plan would work and who would truly be impacted. Or benghazi, or.... Point being, things have not been ethical or moral anywhere in our society for a long time and getting worse. Sad, but true.

Ireland dumped Marshall when he mistakenly thought he'd be suspended for a bar incident

And to think there were "bloggers" here who are upset with letting Ireland go & were a stanch defender of him for years, even when results did not merit support.
Ross is no man to talk about integrity. He is still probably the biggest issue with the franchise. Anyone recall how he tried to hire Harbaugh while Sporano was still coach?
Yea, that reeks of hypocrisy, among other things NO integrity.
Posted by: LOL | January 19, 2014 at 08:54 AM

Pray for new ownership.

I figured out the Ross philosophy. It works the same way when your talking to someone with bad breath.

The Dolphins AKA (defecating demons) smell so bad that good teams are too busy gagging to concentrate, that's why we beat them (Pats, Chargers, etc..)

It doesn't work on bad teams because they are use to the bad smell.

Posted by: Brilliant Philosopher | January 19, 2014 at 08:43 AM

I don't know about Brilliant but this does explain a lot, thank you for your evaluation.


Please explain if Philbin is always portrayed as the honorable and coach with integrity and was upset that they didn't cut Incognito after his escapades at the golf course, don't you think that Ross was made aware of it…..AND DID NOTHING!! That is one reason Ross cannot fire Philbin. It will come out the Ross was made aware of Incognito, but Ross also looked the other way and listened to Ireland.
IF Ross is Mr. Integrity….would also believe that he was ALSO aware of Bess antics, but again went with Ireland, and traded him.

Its a little late for Dumbo Ross to use integrity term…...

Parcells > Shula

Yes, we should have integrity like the Patriots....lmao

Why would any Dolphin fan buy a ticket to see this embarrassment?? I clowns on this site that actually discuss strategy. hahahaha, hahahahaha

Steve Ross, worst owner ever?

Remember when Ross honored Gator Bronco Tim Tebow? On the Canes and Dolphins home field? Tebow beat the Dolphins in front of 30,000 opposition fans.




Let me first say that I hope Davone Bess will get the help he needs and can lead a normal life thats first.

Jeff Ireland was scumbag for sure but he is no longer the GM for he Dolphins so it is hard to say if the organization losses the creditability you were talking about unless the owner knew and he probably didn't.

What could the Dolphins have done well if they knew for sure he had mental issues then they could have helped him instead of trading him, but here is the thing he was traded I believe because his play was slipping. I watch every play of every game and I remember, him not hustling and then there was one play in particular where someone threw and interception and they ran right past Bess and instead of trying to make the tackle he just stuck his elbow out. Was this mental illness maybe who knows.

The thing is you can't hide on the football Field and Bess was trending downwards after what was it three pretty solid years as matter of fact if we would have had a real QB at the time Bess maybe could have challenged Welker as the best slot guy in the game but we didn't of course and the rest is history.

Mental illness strike at any time though Armando and you might be a little hard on the Dolphins here Bess did play all year in Cleveland without any problems or at least problems that made the news. Sometimes you never know when someone is going to have a breakdown of some kind.

Business is business. The browns have done the same things too. They suckered the Colts into taking Richardson and got a #1 pick in return. Were they supposed to tell the Colts that this guy is not that good, has bad practice habits, his lazy, etc..

The Dolphins got suckered into giving up 2 #2 picks for Brandon Marshall who had major emotional issues. I loved Ricky Williams but he had major drug issues and the Saints got a #1 pick from the Dolphins for him. So the Dolphins getting a 5th round pick for Bess is nothing. The Browns wanted Bess because of his production on the field. His emotional issues did not affect him much in Miami from a production stand point.

This is a non story as this happens all the time in the NFL. Marshall, TO, and Moss, are all troubled players that no one hesitated to trade. I have given you credit lately Armando for some outstanding stories but this one is weak.

Salguero it is official you are a cluless idiot.

Ross should not be one to talk about integrity. He went to talk to Harbaugh for the coaching position while Sparano was still the coach. That is about as low as you can go as an owner. He undermined Sparano's credibility with the team and set him up for failure.

It is a cut throat business. Teams have to do their homework before trading or acquiring a player. In the end the Dolphins got very little in return for Bess. In fact, given Bess' production I am sure at the time the Browns were the ones laughing thinking they got one of the best 3rd down receivers in the league for a 5th round pick.

Salguero do you remember spy gate you clueless idiot

If this regime wants choir boyz they should start a church. This is football.

Interesting how many people know what to think about everything and don't have anything to learn.

Mando is a reporter. He's not just blogging his thoughts on the Bess trade. He is hearing things from sources and telling us what they say.

Now, do sources have agendas? Sure. Can we use our own judgment on what value Bess brought? Yep. There's no Oracle of Truth.

But hating on Armando for telling us some facts is just stupid. Jets-fan stupid. I see a lot of them in this thread ...,

Armando, great insight into the inner workings of the Dolphins. I think they should consider you for GM you certainly know your stuff.


some homers forget how the dolphins cheated, eh?

2 watt = ape tamer. The truth is out. You forgot to change your name 2 watt.

Or maybe Jeff Ireland was acting with integrity by complying with H IPAA laws. ..

Lol orlando sometimes it's hard having multiple personalities. ..

I hope Pat White is still available in the 2nd round, if I feel panicked I'll have to move up to get him.

anybody got a cig?

Non story.....but good try, Armando.

That was Ireland that drafted Pat White.

2 watt, you forgot to put LOL instead of eh? but that's ok I like both of you, 2 watt and the Ape

A story about Integrity coming from a reporter. Hmmm.

First off why didn't Cleveland do it's due diligence? I'm sure the Marchman Act is public record. Although maybe a little slick the Dolphins didn't disclose it, I wouldn't be surprised it isn't common with most NFL teams.

Did the Saints tell the Dolphins that Ricky Williams was pot smoker with mental issues? Heck that guy straight up quit us and crippled our team for 2 years or more.

Maybe I'm missing something but I think Ross is blowing the whole integrity thing out of proportion.

I'm not about the team being sleezy but every year we have 53 payers on the team who are individuals. Sure you can have a policy in place to discipline them, to counsel them, and you can lead by example.

Still some folks just have to hit rock bottom before they see the light and some just never do.

Every team in the NFL has a system for dealing with these things. Ross just needs to get thicker shin and be proud of the many good things the Dolphins do for the community.

Because the media in all its "integrity" is going stir the pot.

2 watt = ape tamer. The truth is out. You forgot to change your name 2 watt.
Posted by: Orlando Dolphan | January 19, 2014 at 10:10 AM

wrong but nice try dummy, eh?

Posted by: Orlando Dolphan | January 19, 2014 at 09:54 AM

Great post. Had I read yours first I wouldn't have wasted the key strokes on my post.

2 watt, I can identify, your alter ego is an Ape and I'm inside a horse. Just like Mark (in Toronto) is

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