The latest twist in the Miami Dolphins‘ “bullying” controversy involves the team’s GM Jeff Ireland. According to Pro Football Talk, Ireland was approached by Jonathan Martin‘s agent, Kenny Zuckerman, before the second-year pro left the team on Oct. 28.
Zuckerman shared his concerns with Ireland over the way his client was being treated by teammate Richie Incognito, who allegedly harassed Martin with threatening texts and voice mails laced with profanities and racial slurs. Ireland’s reported advice to Zuckerman was that Martin should confront Incognito physically if he was indeed being bullied. Specifically, the report reads that Ireland suggested Martin should “punch” Incognito.
If the report is true, Ireland’s six-year tenure as general manager of the Dolphins could be coming to an abrupt end.
Ireland has been widely criticized by the Dolphins’ fan base and the media over the past few years for poor drafting and repeated misses in free agency, but advocating violence within Miami’s locker room and turning a blind eye to one of his player’s well being could be his demise.
This isn’t the first time Ireland’s character has been questioned. Back in 2010, Ireland reportedly asked Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute during a pre-draft interview. Ireland might not be able to withstand another detrimental accusation on his character to go along with his perceived incompetence as an evaluator of talent.
To make matters worse, a couple of former Dolphins players who have spent time with the team during Ireland’s tenure took to Twitter to speak out against him on Thursday morning. Most notably, quarterback Sage Rosenfields, who most recently spent time in Miami in 2011, criticized Ireland in a Twitter rant.
“I only spent two weeks on the Dolphins when Ireland was the GM,” Rosenfields tweeted. “In that short time he won the award for worst GM in my career. #jerk.”
Former Dolphins defensive tackle Matt McChesney, who spent time with the team in 2008, agreed with Rosenfields’ bashing of Ireland, tweeting “I 100% agree. Spent (one) season there (and) (Ireland) was awful.”
Rosenfields and McChensney were both obviously let go by Ireland, so they could be motivated by bitterness to speak out against him. However, their criticism of Ireland seems to echo the sentiment that he is not well-liked and is failing in more ways than one as the Dolphins’ GM.
Ultimately, however, Ireland’s likability and inability to mold a winning roster could prove irrelevant. If his irresponsibility as one of the faces of an organization led to him ignoring a player’s safety and encouraging physical violence, he will have likely sealed his own fate in Miami.
Cody Strahm is a Miami Dolphins contributor for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @CodyJStrahm.