According to the team’s official website, the Miami Dolphins have signed General Manager Jeff Ireland to a multi-year contract extension. The press release doesn’t state the particulars of the deal, but Ireland is now assumed to be under contract through at least the 2013 season, with his old deal expiring at the conclusion of 2012.
“I appreciate the support of the entire Dolphin organization, from Steve Ross all the way down, and I’m going to continue to work as hard as I can with Steve, Tony Sparano, and the rest of the team to bring the Dolphins back to their long-time position as one of the elite teams in the NFL,” said Ireland in the team’s press release. “We have a young and talented nucleus to build on, and as we continue to add quality players through all the means available to us, we will give our fans the type of team they deserve.”
“The decision to extend Jeff’s contract as our General Manager was an easy one,” said Dolphins’ owner Steve Ross. “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.”
Ireland’s extension now gives this current regime much needed stability as the long, treacherous offseason gears up for full swing. With the way the 2010 season ended, the fate of both Ireland and Sparano was hanging in the balance. At least now, Stephen Ross and the Dolphins appear committed to the direction this team is headed. Hopefully, that will boost morale at team headquarters and give everyone from top to bottom a little more confidence as crucial player evaluation kicks off.
As for whether or not this ultimately benefits the Dolphins, the jury is still out. Ireland has shaken this fan base’s trust with ethical dilemmas like inapt interview questions and awkward coaching searches, and has seen his fair share of hits and misses in the draft and free agency. But we still aren’t entirely sure exactly how much control he’s had in previous offseasons. We were all under the impression that Bill Parcells had the final say in every draft selection, free agent signing, and trade. Well Ireland’s time has come. Maybe he hasn’t always handled himself like a professional, but if he can consistently make sound personnel decisions for this franchise, the winning that follows will cure all.