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Dolphins' bizarre GM search centers on Browns' Farmer, Lions' Xanders

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The Dolphins' general manager search will continue into next week, with owner Stephen Ross recently taking off for London, and then China, and candidates unsure of where they stand and if or when a final round of interviews will begin. Numerous sources believe Cleveland exec Ray Farmer is a finalist, with Detroit's Brian Xanders also highly regarded following his impressive interview, but the process -- like many things Dolphin-related since Ross took over -- has struck many as bizarre.


Stephen Ross (right) is still looking for a replacement for ousted GM Jeff Ireland. (USATSI)

League sources said that prior to leaving the country, Ross was leaning toward a structure in which the new GM would report directly to him, as would coach Joe Philbin and powerful executive vice president Dawn Aponte -- and that left some candidates a bit dumbfounded. Aponte and Philbin have formed a very tight bond, which is well known around the league and was obvious during the interview process, sources said. So a new GM might have a difficult time winning many tiebreakers and battling that dynamic. Furthermore, with Ross an absentee owner for the most part, one might have still have to go through Aponte to get to Ross, again troubling to some candidates.

Whomever the new GM is, there will be no shortage of people paying close attention around the league as to who wields power there, how the structure works and if the same interpersonal issues that dogged the end of former GM Jeff Ireland's regime persist, with plenty of skeptics still out there.

 
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