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Dolphins, GM Jeff Ireland 'mutually agree' to part ways

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Jeff Ireland is out as Miami's general manager. (USATSI)
Jeff Ireland is out as Miami's general manager. (USATSI)

More NFL coaching news: Coaching change tracker | Latest news

Every year in the last few, it seems as if Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland was in danger of losing his job. Ever year, owner Stephen Ross has supported Ireland and kept him employed.

Until Tuesday when the team announced it had mutually parted ways with Ireland, the team's GM for the past six years.

While the move shouldn't be considered shocking, Ross reportedly assured Ireland less than a month ago that his job was safe after the 2013 season. But perhaps the fact the team lost its final two games of the season to finish 8-8 to miss the postseason for the fifth-straight year ultimately sealed Ireland's fate.

At least one report said the team hadn't planned on relieving Ireland of his duties, but according to NFL.com's Jeff Darlington, Ireland would have been stripped of his power, which is why he mutually agreed to leave the team.

"I've spent the last six years with the best organization in football," Ireland said in a statement released by the team Tuesday evening. "Steve and I came to an agreement that the best thing moving forward for all parties would be to part ways. I'd like to thank Steve for all his support and kindness. I've had the opportunity to work with some of the most amazing people during this time and I'd like to thank them all from the bottom of my heart."

Said Ross: "I want to personally thank Jeff for his hard work and dedication in building the team over the past six years. After a series of discussions, we both felt that it was in our mutual best interest to part ways. Jeff was a loyal and dedicated member of the Dolphins and we wish him and his family nothing but the best."

Ireland was hired for the job by Bill Parcells before the 2008 season, along with new coach Tony Sparano, and that season, the Dolphins went to the playoffs with an 11-5 record. But in 2010, Ireland embarrassed the club when it was revealed that he asked Dez Bryant, who was then entering the NFL draft, if his mother was ever a prostitute.

In 2012, planes flew over Miami with banners begging Ross to fire Ireland, and this past November, fans left frustrated messages on Ireland's voice mail when his contact info was revealed on Twitter.

This past offseason, Ireland, in what seemed like a desperate attempt to keep his job, spent $250 million on contracts, including that of receiver Mike Wallace. But with this debacle of a season -- don't even get us started on the whole Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin mess -- Ross apparently had enough of Ireland running the personnel department.

While it appears as if Miami will keep coach Joe Philbin, Ireland now will join offensive coordinator Mike Sherman as ex-Dolphins employees.

The team wrote in its release that it "will conduct an immediate search to bring new leadership to head the team's football operations."

As CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora writes, assistant general manager Brian Gaines would be a good candidate to take over that job.

Either way, at least one purported Dolphins fan had to be pleased by the news.

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