Posted by Josh Katzowitz
The Dolphins announced earlier today that general manager Jeff Ireland had signed a multi-year contract extension, and it must come as a relief, though not necessarily a big surprise, to Ireland (and, I suppose, to those who want stability in the organization).
While Ireland certainly has garnered some positive accomplishments since taking over his role after the 2007 season, he had to wonder – at least, slightly – about his job security now that Bill Parcells is basically out of the picture.
Ireland was one of Parcell’s guys – Parcells hired Ireland when he took over the team’s football operations after they worked together in Dallas – but after Parcells stepped away to become a team consultant, one had to wonder if owner Stephen Ross really thought Ireland was the horse he could ride.
Apparently, that is the case.
“The decision to extend Jeff’s contract as our General Manager was an easy one," said Ross in a statement. "The young talent that Jeff has assembled during his three years with the Dolphins has made a profound impact on our franchise’s recovery from the 1-15 season of 2007. Jeff has my full support moving forward as we pursue our goals to build the best and brightest front office in the National Football League and ultimately to win a Super Bowl championship for all of South Florida and Dolphin fans around the world.”
Since taking over, Ireland has drafted talented players like OT Jake Long, CB Vontae Davis, LB Koa Misi and WR Brian Hartline while procuring the services of WR Brandon Marshall and TE Sal Anthony Fasano .
But he’s also missed out on big picks – 2008 second-round pick Phillip Merling and 2009 second-round pick Pat White come to mind – while the jury is still out on QB Chad Henne (2008 second-round pick).
Plus, there was that incident when he, in a pre-Draft interview, asked former Oklahoma State and current Cowboys WR Dez Bryant about the rumors that his mother was a prostitute. Ireland later apologized for the misstep.
But Ross, unlike his latest dealings with coach Tony Sparano, made this transaction rather clean, because so far, Ireland has done enough to impress.
"He's an excellent judge of talent," CBS’ own analyst Charlie Casserly told the Palm Beach Post earlier this month. "He has a clear vision of what he wants the team to look like on the field, and he wants to have a physical team up front on both lines. Any time you have that, you have a chance to win."
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