Parcells move could be all about helping Ireland and Sparano survive

The sudden announcement that Dolphins V.P. of football operations Bill Parcells has shifted from V.P. of football operations to a consulting position raises many questions — and also confirms what many believed when G.M. Jeff Ireland was hired away from the Cowboys.

As to that point, the Dolphins were able to hire Ireland because the Dolphins supposedly gave Ireland final say over all football decisions.  But few folks who “get it” believed that Ireland actually got that level of authority.  By announcing today that Ireland “will assume full control over all aspects and decisions in regard to the Miami Dolphin football team and support staff,” the Dolphins essentially admitted that he didn’t possess such power previously, which suggests that the Dolphins lured Ireland from Dallas under false pretenses.

So why did Parcells slide into a new role now, only five days before the first regular-season game of the year?  For starters, keep in mind that Parcells’ contract, which runs through 2011, allows him to leave at any time and to collect the balance of his salary — and also to go work for someone else.  As we’ve heard it, Parcells was reluctant to make a complete and total exit, since that would have exposed Ireland and coach Tony Sparano to the likely arrival of Carl Peterson as the new head of the football operations.  Peterson and owner Stephen Ross already have a friendship and a business relationship, via the in-stadium video device known previously as Kangaroo TV and now known as GameDay Vision.

If Peterson had arrived as the new boss, Peterson eventually would have wanted to hire his own G.M. and his own head coach, just as Parcells did when he took over in 2008.  As a result, Ireland and Sparano would have been auditioning to stick around for a guy who wouldn’t have been inclined to keep them.

With Parcells leaving but also staying, Ireland and Sparano can audition for Ross without Peterson or anyone else serving as the filter.  If the Dolphins do well under Ireland and Sparano, Ross could decide that he doesn’t need Peterson or anyone else to take over the team.

Meanwhile, Parcells gets to partially exercise his shrewdly-crafted cash-and-carry clause, reducing his duties but still getting paid full freight.  And who knows?  If the Dolphins finish deep in the playoffs this year, Parcells could cut the cord completely and go work for someone else, confident that Ireland and Sparano won’t be run off by Parcells’ successor.

Fundamentally, then, we believe Parcells’ decision was less about Parcells making a money grab and more about Parcells trying to help Ireland and Sparano stay with the team after Parcells has made his exit.  And it demonstrates the kind of loyalty that has become more the exception than the rule in pro and college sports.

39 responses to “Parcells move could be all about helping Ireland and Sparano survive

  1. Who cares? The Fish are gonna get grilled this Sunday in Buffalo anyway.

  2. I’m going to keep making Ireland=Tuna Helper jokes until you print one, so you might as well get it over with.

  3. Whatever they’re cookin’, it was obviously a conflict of interest to have Dolphin and Tuna on the same menu. I’ll stick to burgers and fries.

  4. Bill Parcells is about as crafty as you get.
    He knows what day it is and the Dolphins are much better for having had him around.
    He needs to get back on the sidelines though.
    Jerry Jones should have never run him off… he would have at least one more ring now if he hadn’t.
    Jones thought he was the man because Barry Switzer won a ring for him when in reality it was the very good Jimmy hangover that got them there.

  5. Interesting theory, except for one big thing…Carl Peterson gave Jeff Ireland his first job as a scout in 1998 at KC and served as one of his mentors. Since then, Peterson has been very complimentary of Ireland and Sparano. I think that Peterson will eventually go on to work for the Dolphins, likely in the same capacity that Parcells did, but I don’t believe that Ireland’s position is on the line because of this.

  6. This was the plan all along.. This is no surprise!!! The season can’t come fast enough. Flip the coin and let’s go so we can get some real news.

  7. or your reading too much into and he says hes slowly stepping back to allow sparano and ireland to run the show just like noted.

  8. Have nothing but great things to say about Bill. This will be 2 out of 3 years he will get Miami to the playoffs after we beat the Jets twice. It’s a young team now, and Ireland will continue to build from here.

  9. Its more about Parcells leaving after his customary 3 yrs. This shouldnt surprise anyone and Sparano is auditioning for his job, not for Ross but Ireland……Parcells hired Sparano long before he stole Ireland form the Cowboys. If the dolphins dont make the playoffs and look bad doing it, look for Ireland to bring in his own coach.

  10. As dumb as Florio usually sounds, this seems about right to me. Parcells is a shifty, tricky S.O.B. and never makes a move without thinking ahead a few steps.
    He’s just going to make sure his boys don’t get F’d. I don’t blame him.
    Look for him to take over for Chicago next season.

  11. Great article. Great insight Florio. You are the man. Parcells is the man. And anyone that doubts his skills or loyalty is an idiot. The guy builds winners, then moves on. That’s just what he likes to do.
    Fins will make the playoffs this year. The offense will score and the defense will be an improvement.
    And to the haters that say Parcells isn’t loyal…CHAD PENNINGTON.
    We we’re 1-15 before the Trifecta came, now we are poised for a deep playoff run in a very competitive division.
    Team is one of the youngest in the league. We’re built to last.
    Thank you Parcells. And thank you Florio, for a great, insightful look into a mysterious move.

  12. Florio, with your crazy conspiracy theory failed to mention that the Dolphins were 1-15 when he took over. They desperateley needed a new head coach and GM to improve. I doubt that even if Carl Peterson got the job that he would clean house seeing as the Dolphins did substantially better over the past 2 years than their 1-15 season

  13. So glad to not hear that this is due to any Parcells health issues. What a remarkable job he’s done in a short period of time with Miami. Very loyal to Sporano and Ireland as Mike broke down in this post. That being said, where does he go next? Raiders: in a Michael Corleone role w/Al Davis as strictly a consigliere? Buffalo: because it’s the closest franchise to Saratoga, I think? CEO of Los Angeles Jaguars?

  14. Open letter to Stephen Ross:
    If you hire Carl Pederson, Mr. Ross, I am personally making it known I will send you my Marino jersey, my Dolphins hat, and my little dolphins football on my desk I use to annoy my co-workers. I will abandon my “Phin-Fan” status, unfollow all the Dolphin players I’m following on Twitter. I will no longer proclaim the 1972 Dolphins the greatest football team of all time.
    Carl Pederson is the biggest phony in the sporting world. The KC Chiefs are a few players away from being mediocre, thanks to Scott Pioli. Who happens to be Bill Parcels’s son-in-law. Being close to mediocre is a step up from laughing stock of the league. Al Davis laughed at Carl Pederson’s GM style.
    Hiring Carl Pederson would be the dumbest move in what has been a great recent track record from the Dolphins front office. Sure, there have been mistakes, but Miami is much better than the 1-15 year, or the 2 years they hosted the Devil Himself, Nick Satan.
    Please, please do not consider hiring Carl Pederson. For I will have to carry out all that I have stated above, until he is removed from office. Which is the natural course of action after several bad seasons of football, and lots of “I’m Carl Pederson, I’m awesome”.
    Carl Pederson’s biggest fan is Carl Pederson. He sucks. Plain and simple. He is a football talent black hole.
    If the Big Tuna wants to step away, which he seems to like more when he gets a team to a high status, he likes to leave town. If that’s the case, so be it. However, let Jeff Ireland, who despite Florio claiming wasn’t running the show, clearly was/is. Jerry Jones doesn’t care if Ireland wasn’t really given full control. He was glad to get rid of someone who could take the limelight from himself.
    Please Stephen, do not make the mistake of the century. Teams who hire FIRED coaches are begging you to do it, so they look less stupid.
    DON’T DO IT!
    Don’t Hire PEDERSON!
    Thank you
    Dolphins Fans
    PS: He is so terrible, I refuse to spell his name right.

  15. The Dolphins are a ten (10) loss team this season. So who cares about the solicitor Ireland and the Miami Dolphins?

  16. I don’t personally like Peterson, but I have to respect that many who I respect truly do respect him. That being said, any owner who wants to immediately abandon a short-tenured rebuilding program (3-4 yrs) to a GM who would likely want to rebuild again from the ground up because of a FRIENDSHIP is not a good owner.
    So far, I’ve mostly thought Ross is a crank, but he’s mostly been involved with selling the team, franchise, tickets, etc… What an owner should do.
    A GM and owner should have a good relationship, but if it requires a longstanding freindship as its basis, either the owner or GM or both are incapable of fulfilling the many job requirements of the office.
    I’d like to think the journalists/bloggers punditry on Ross and Peterson is typically bad, superficial prognosticating that only has the media’s limited capacity as its sole basis.
    I’m fairly certain that Parcell’s role is significant but overstated by everyone in media. Or at least, from the bottom to the top, everyone is so fundamentally a “Parcell’s guy”, either through Cowboys, Jets, Patriots, Giants staffs or other coaches/front offices already influenced by Parcells, that Parcell’s moving on would mean little drop off and could possibly be an improvement.
    A team 3 years into building a new identity with relative success does not need to be reshuffled when 2 AFC teams are working on decade-long dynasties and 10 or so teams are working on being consistently competitive.

  17. I don’t know if Parcells “builds a winner and then leaves” as much as he takes about three or four years to make the lives of everyone he’s around as miserable as his. Then, after thoroughly brow-beating, humiliating and making the working conditions for everyone in the building deplorable, he decides it’s time to go. No doubt the Tuna is a football wiseman, but he is one lousy human being. I assure you that the people who work inside the Dolphins organization have a smile on their faces today that look like a coat hanger is stuck in their collective mouths.

  18. even though, it could be balony…… I’m wit grandavenue.
    Carl pederson should just stay wit gameday Tv and thats the only football related thing he should do.
    he destroyed the Chiefs and if he has any say so with the Dolphins personnel, I will get rid all my Fins gear and go somewhere else., I’m not waiting around for years of misery and more years of rebuilding. If Mr. Ross is listening DO NOT DO IT!!!!!
    p.s. do you see how many non-fins(haters) fans check dolphins news.

  19. peterson is herm’s ticket back into the nfl.
    peterson would hire the idiot in an instant. cause, u know, he’s all about playing to win the game,

  20. If Peterson comes to Miami, Ill have to like the Jaguars…Wait, I can’t do that in two years, it’ll have to be VERY soon if that happens. Jags won’t be around long.

  21. As a long time chief fan. I warn you all if this narcistic, team wrecking, hog sucking tool gets in the door, dolphins are destroyed. Grand avenue is exactly right. Pioli is not much better but the day Peterson was out of KC was a great day for all chief fans. You poor dolphins

  22. NYMets says:
    September 7, 2010 6:20 PM
    The Dolphins are a ten (10) loss team this season. So who cares about the solicitor Ireland and the Miami Dolphins?

  23. wow I’m so glad you guys know exactly what parcells and ross are thinking. Now that being “in the know”.

  24. “allows him to leave at any time and to collect the balance of his salary — and also to go work for someone else.”

  25. “william sizemore says:
    September 8, 2010 12:37 AM
    Manny be careful about calling another man mother a whore, your mother could be call one next. Bill

    I’m sure he is used to it.

  26. Memo to the Miami Dolphins – hire Carl Peterson – he put the Kansas City Chiefs back on the football map aft they’d been lost in the football wilderness some 15-20 years before he arrived.
    Today in KC, this Chiefs fan as every rues the day egoli & hailme showed up took squat – merely put together did these deux football favor forgot THE WORST 1ST SEASON FRANCHISE HISTORY & they’ve already gotten off to a fine start in 2010, losing another 3 games.
    Peterson helped return football relevance to PHIL the Eagles, KC the Chiefs as well PHIL old USFL – and he can & will do so in MIA. Here in KC, all the fans wish he & Herm Edwards were still here, but alas appears must suffer another 16 losses 2010, followed by (hopefully) a lockout 2011 to lend us time heal our football wounds, then a new regime nee GM & HC in 2012.
    MIA is an organization braced for an upswing with Peterson, while KCs on the way even farther down courtesy Belichick’s ex-patriate coattail valet, and Whisenhunt’s former chauffeur who managed not drive the Caddilac powered Warner & Fitzgerald et al into the football ditch, latter our abode KC.

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