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The Miami Dolphins have severed ties with general manager Jeff Ireland, the team announced Tuesday.
The Dolphins described the move as a mutual parting of ways. However, Ireland was firmly in the hot seat after five consecutive non-winning seasons. Ireland committed more than $200 million in free agency, only to see the team finish 8-8 this season.
"I want to personally thank Jeff for his hard work and dedication in building the team over the past six years," Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said. "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."
Miami was outscored 39-7 during embarrassing, back-to-back losses to the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets to end its season. The losses knocked the Dolphins out of playoff contention.
Ross met with Ireland and coach Joe Philbin for about seven hours last week at the team facility and demanded answers.
The Dolphins fired offensive coordinator Mike Sherman after two seasons earlier this week. Former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will interview for the position, league sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen. Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo and Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor also are candidates to replace Sherman.
"I've spent the last six years with the best organization in football," Ireland said in a statement. "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."
Dolphins CEO Tom Garfinkel said interviews for a GM will begin Friday and that the team wants someone with a proven track record of evaluating talent.
Candidates without experience as a general manager will be considered, however, Garfinkel said.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Garfinkel said he'll be involved in the search but that the final decision will be made by Ross.
Information from ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen and The Associated Press was used in this report.