Jeff Ireland, the Dolphins’ general manager who was said to be in the midst of a contract year, a make-or-break season, already had his deal extended through at least the 2014 season, according to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald.
The terms of Ireland’s extension have not been made known, but a source told Beasley it was quietly done during the offseason. And getting the deal done quietly, undoubtedly saved the Dolphins from a considerable amount of criticism.
This news hits Miami’s fanbase at the perfect time. The Dolphins are 3-0, and many of the decisions Ireland made in an aggressive offseason approach have panned out thus far.
Free-agent signings like Brent Grimes, Mike Wallace, Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler have clearly made the Dolphins a better team. And while Ireland’s draft class has been less than impressive, it’s hard to blame him for the injuries which have hampered Dion Jordan, Jamar Taylor and Will Davis.
In reality, though, extending Ireland’s contract made sense all along — yes, even before the franchise’s hot start this season. While Ireland was aggressive this past spring, you really can’t label any of the moves he made “desperate.” There’s no telling if that would have changed if Ireland had the shortsighted vision operating under a one-year contract entails.
New contract or no, there is nothing stopping the Dolphins from firing Ireland, after all. If this 3-0 start proves to be fool’s gold and the team falters down the stretch on their way to missing the playoffs, owner Stephen Ross can still pull the plug on Ireland’s tenure.
Extending him was about allowing him to do his job more effectively. At least, it should have been.
If the Dolphins were sold on Ireland’s ability to build a football team long before the team’s 3-0 start, they were certainly premature in that thinking. But, hey, maybe they were right all along.
Like I said, this news hits the Dolphins’ fanbase at the ideal time. The team is undefeated. All is right in Miami.