IRELAND DOESN’T HAVE “FINAL SAY”? Posted by Mike Florio on January 24, 2008, 9:14 a.m. The Miami Dolphins were able to finagle their new G.M., Jeff Ireland, from the Cowboys because new V.P. of football operations Bill Parcells doesn’t have “final say” over personnel. The Dolphins were careful to include language to that effect in Parcells’ contract, and likewise (we presume) included appropriate words and phrases in Ireland’s paperwork to vest him with the authority to determine who will and won’t play football for the team. The only problem? There’s an apparent disconnect between the writing and the reality. On Wednesday, Ireland essentially admitted that he’s not running the show. He admitted it. “The situation that we’re in is that Bill does oversee everything,” Ireland said. “But yet I am the G.M. and we have a head coach, so there is going to be a triangle of communication involved here. “I can’t say that Bill will have the final say on everything, because we communicate so well. That’s why Tony’s in the position that he’s in and that’s why Bill brought me here — because we’ll communicate and make decisions together.” Though Ireland doesn’t come out and say “I don’t have final say,” it’s strongly implied that he doesn’t. Especially when he says, “I can’t say that Bill will have final say on everything.” It’s a startling revelation, made even more surprising by the fact that Parcells is the dean of the “keep your f–king mouth shut” approach to pro football. So if the Dolphins are going to apply Parcells’ patented “one voice” approach, the “one voice” probably shouldn’t be Ireland’s. Unless and until he learns how to use it. It remains to be seen what the fallout will be. In theory, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones could ask the league to investigate the situation, and to compel the Dolphins to compensate the Cowboys with draft picks if it’s determined that Ireland truly doesn’t have final say. But to make that claim Jones would have to implicitly acknowledge that he’d been hoodwinked by Parcells, and not everyone has an ego that permits such a concession. Frankly, we’re a little troubled by the manner in which Parcells has done business since heading to Miami. Though the opinions expressed below aren’t necessarily the opinions of PFT, we think that the reader who sent in the following e-mail on Wednesday makes some important points: “An average fan here who is curious about the underhanded tactics that Bill Parcells continues to get away with. “Let’s be honest, Tony Sparano was offered the head coaching job in Miami before league rules permitted, is there any question about that? . . . Then there are the assistants, who turned down extensions from the Cowboys to ‘test the open waters’? Please. Can the league really believe that Sparano didn’t reach out and offer jobs to [Todd] Bowles, [Paul] Pasqualoni, and [Kacy] Rodgers BEFORE their contracts expired this Sunday? And did Sparano recruit these assistants while still employed by Jerry Jones, under the orders of Bill Parcells? Of course he did. “Mrs. Doubtfire has a long history of these unscrupulous tactics and clear violations of league policies. How does he get away with it?” Hey, that e-mail was worth the price of admission solely for the Mrs. Doubtfire reference. Priceless. Permalink | Comments Back to Top FINS WILLING TO SWAP OUT OF TOP SPOT Posted by Mike Florio on January 24, 2008, 11:50 a.m. Dolphins G.M. Jeff Ireland has made it known that the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 draft is available to any and all interested parties. “We’re open for business,” he said on Wednesday. “Rome wasn’t built in a day, and this won’t be built in a day either,” Ireland added. “The No. 1 pick is no different from the 22nd pick. You’ve got to make the right selection. You just can’t miss on it. We’re going to do everything in our power to make the right choices, whether it be to take the pick or move down. We’ll listen to all offers.” The problem with trading into top spot is that, as the price tag for signing the top pick continues to spiral north, the notion of giving up 3,000 points in trade-chart value for the privilege to pay an unproven player $35 million in guaranteed money isn’t very appealing. As the incoming rookies at the top of the board begin to separate, however, there’s a chance that the team at No. 4, for example, might want to leap-frog the team at No. 2 for a guy they both covet. Still, the team ant No. 4 needs to be willing to give up the four spot and another 1,200 points, which is equivalent to the No. 12 overall pick in the draft (and more than the top pick in each of the remaining rounds, combined). There might not be a guy in this year’s class that entices such an offer. In fact, it’s possible that no one will be interested in making a move for the No. 1 overall pick unless and until there’s a can’t-miss prospect (followed by a significant drop-off in talent), a fundamental change to the way that rookie are paid (which is desperately needed), and/or an adjustment to the trade chart. The numbers that applied when Jimmy Johnson devised the thing in the 1990s might simply not be realistic in 2008. Still, if the Fins use the pick, it’s pretty safe to assume they’ll emerge from the process with a great player. Bill Parcells had several stellar drafts in Dallas; without him the ‘Boys will be back to taking the likes of Quincy Carter. So whether it’s the first pick or the 22nd or round five, the guys that Parcells and Ireland bring to town are going to make the team better, sooner rather than later.