Found February 12, 2013 on XLJournal:
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This offseason is a very important one for the Miami Dolphins. Armed with over $45 million in cap space and 5 draft picks in the first 3 rounds of this year’s NFL draft, Miami can catapult itself into playoff contention for years to come. The other side of the coin however, could see Miami failing to make any impactful additions to a team that finished 7-9 this past season. Dolphins fans are more worried about the latter scenario than excited about the former and they blame GM Jeff Ireland for that. Ever since Ireland was hired he has been criticized by Miami’s fan base for failing to put a winning product on the field. Among some of his biggest missteps were giving former QB Chad Henne too long a chance at fulfilling his potential, using a 2nd round draft pick on former quarterback Pat White–who is not even in the league anymore–to try and continue a dying scheme in the Wildcat, and shedding talent on a roster (traded WR Brandon Marshall for 2 3rd round picks, traded starting cornerback Vontae Davis after drafting him with a 1st rounder) starving for just that. The fans wanted Ireland gone when former head coach Tony Sparano was fired–as they were both hired by Bill Parcells when he was running the show–but owner Stephen Ross kept him on board and now Ireland holds the future of the franchise in his hands. Among Miami’s biggest needs are a true number 1 receiver (for which there are a number of options in free agency), a shutdown corner, a playmaking safety, and depth along the offensive line. That is a long list of needs that sheds more light on the importance of this offseason. The combination of draft picks and cap space can work together to fill each and every hole, but only if the right moves are made. The hard part about Ireland’s job–and any GM for that matter–is that it is impossible to know what the right moves are until games are actually being played and you see the product you put together on the field, but that is why GMs get paid the big bucks. If Ireland cannot deliver at least a team capable of making the playoffs with all the resources he has it his disposal look for Miami to be searching for a new GM come this time next year.   Photo credit: juniordsports.com Follow me on Twitter: @BrigantiJoeXLJ
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