In a bit of damage control and clarification after Fritz Pollard Alliance chairman John Wooten raised questions about the Miami Dolphins' structure for their vacant general manager position, owner Stephen Ross has issued a lengthy statement.
Ross says the new general manager, who replaces the outgoing Jeff Ireland, will have full control of the 53-man roster and draft and will report directly to him. It's similar to the way Ireland's job was set up.
“We will begin interviewing candidates for the General Manager position tomorrow,” Ross said. “It will be a thorough process with the goal of bringing the best person to help us build a team that will be a consistent winner. Carl Peterson will serve as an advisor to me on this search. Carl and I have had a business relationship for almost 30 years dating back to the USFL and I have tremendous respect for his experience and judgment on team building and football operations. He will advise me on the search but he will not have a role with the Dolphins after the process is over. The new General Manager will have autonomous responsibility for the 53 man roster and selecting players during the draft and will report to me. First and foremost, this person must have a passion for the game and demonstrated player evaluation expertise. They will need to be a person who is a collaborative team player that puts the organization first.
“Regardless of reporting structure, the relationship between the General Manager and Coach Philbin must be one of trust, respect, and collaboration, and this will be an area we will look closely at during the process. This individual also must be a person with integrity who is open-minded and creative. Our media relations department will update you on the list of candidates when interviews are finalized. Once the process is complete, I will make the final decision on who to hire. Coach Philbin and his staff are continuing their offseason activities while conducting interviews for the offensive coordinator position. We are also working on our draft preparation, including our upcoming trip to the Senior Bowl as well as all of the other aspects of player evaluation and procurement. At the end of this process, we will be a stronger organization with people working together to build a Championship team.”
Peterson, a former Kansas City Chiefs general manager who's close to Ross, released this statement:
“I’ve known Steve for a long time and I know that no one wants to bring a winner to Miami more than he does. I look forward to advising Steve through this search and I am confident that he will add an outstanding candidate with a proven track record in talent evaluation to the Dolphins.“
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.