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Saturday, January 22, 2011
Dolphins continue to patch up front office

By Tim Graham

The Miami Dolphins announced Saturday they have signed general manager Jeff Ireland to a multi-year extension.

The move appears to be another attempt to stabilize a front office that was in turmoil two weeks ago, when the Dolphins extended head coach Tony Sparano's contract after a failed pursuit of Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Ireland accompanied Dolphins owner Stephen Ross to California to meet with Harbaugh, who eventually accepted a job with the San Francisco 49ers. Ross didn't inform Sparano they were making the trip. The Dolphins returned to South Florida and gave Sparano a new contract.

"The decision to extend Jeff's contract as our general manager was an easy one," Ross said in a statement released by the club Saturday. "The young talent that Jeff has assembled during his three years with the Dolphins has made a profound impact on our franchise’s recovery from the 1-15 season of 2007.

"Jeff has my full support moving forward as we pursue our goals to build the best and brightest front office in the National Football League and ultimately to win a Super Bowl Championship for all of South Florida and Dolphin fans around the world."

The Dolphins' front office has been in a curious transition over the past five months.

A few days before the 2010 season began, the Dolphins announced vice president of football operations Bill Parcells stepped down and would be a consultant. He cleared out his office shortly thereafter, and his actual role with the team is unclear. The 49ers wanted Parcells to help them evaluate their organizational direction.

Reports of Carl Peterson's involvement have been contradictory. Ross has stated Peterson, a longtime associate and former Kansas City Chiefs executive, was not involved in the Dolphins' recent coaching distraction.