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Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross provided clarity Thursday on the team's opening at general manager, saying in a statement that the new hire will report directly to the owner and have final say on personnel.
Following this week's mutual parting of ways with general manager Jeff Ireland, there was speculation in the media and NFL circles of how much power Ireland's replacement will have. But Ross set the record straight.
"The new General Manager will have autonomous responsibility for the 53 man roster and selecting players during the draft and will report to me," Ross said in the statement. "First and foremost, this person must have a passion for the game and demonstrated player evaluation expertise. They will need to be a person who is a collaborative team player that puts the organization first.
"Regardless of reporting structure, the relationship between the General Manager and Coach (Joe) Philbin must be one of trust, respect, and collaboration, and this will be an area we will look closely at during the process."
Ross also said former NFL general manager Carl Peterson will assist the Dolphins in the hiring process, which will begin Friday. Peterson and Ross are longtime friends and have a business relationship.
"I've known Steve for a long time and I know that no one wants to bring a winner to Miami more than he does," Peterson said in a statement. "I look forward to advising Steve through this search and I am confident that he will add an outstanding candidate with a proven track record in talent evaluation to the Dolphins."
Thus far, five names have been reported as candidates for the GM job: Pittsburgh Steelers director of football administration Omar Kahn, Arizona Cardinals vice president of player personnel Jason Licht, Tennessee Titans vice president of player personnel Lake Dawson, Cleveland Browns assistant general manager Ray Farmer and New York Giants vice president of player evaluation Marc Ross.
The Dolphins finished 8-8 in 2013 to cap five straight non-winning seasons. The team also is simultaneously searching for an offensive coordinator following the firing of Mike Sherman on Monday.
ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and ESPN.com's Pat McManamon contributed to this report.