MIAMI (CBSMiami) – When Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross first commented on the Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito story, he gave full support to head coach Joe Philbin, but notably left out general manager Jeff Ireland.
But, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald, Ireland has now been given "assurances" by Ross that his job is safe, despite the Dolphins being just one game above .500 and one game out of the playoffs.
Ireland has taken the brunt of fan angst since Bill Parcells took the money and ran, leaving the Dolphins in Ireland's hands. Ireland has previously asked if a draft prospect's mother was a prostitute, repeatedly been unable to put together an offensive line, and has put together a team with a losing record since 2008.
Ireland spent big money in the offseason to try to put together a contender, but with just three games to go this season; the Dolphins are on the outside of the playoffs looking in. Currently, the Dolphins are tied with the Baltimore Ravens for the sixth and final playoff spot.
Due to Baltimore's victory over the Dolphins earlier this season; the Ravens hold the tiebreaker and would make the playoffs if the teams finished with the same record.
However, the Dolphins have arguably the easiest final three games. The Dolphins will return home this Sunday to play the New England Patriots, who will be without tight end Rob Gronkowski, arguably the team's most important player outside of quarterback Tom Brady.
After the Patriots game, the Dolphins will travel to Buffalo to play a free-falling Bills team that lost 27-6 to the woeful Tampa Bay Buccaneers and are just 4-9 overall. The Dolphins then finish the season against a Jets team the Fins thumped just two weeks ago.
Still, this is a Dolphins team that since 2002 has been to the playoffs just one time and has had just two winning seasons since 2004. For comparison, from 1994 to 2001, the Dolphins made the playoffs every year but one, 1996.
Plus, with the Martin/Incognito report likely coming either this week or next; Ireland's tenure may or may not be more tenuous once the investigation is completed.
for more features.