It's no secret that the Miami Dolphins are losing, and losing fast. Speculation continues to run rampant on when owner Stephen Ross will begin the house cleaning process. While everyone expects head coach Tony Sparano to be shown the door, general manager Jeff Ireland's future with the team is still debatable. Will Ireland follow Sparano out of Miami? Will Ross hire a replacement for former Miami football czar Bill Parcells?
Could former Kansas City Chiefs General Manager/President/CEO Carl Peterson take over for Ireland, or, if Ireland survives, could Peterson take over the vacant "czar" position?
Last year, when Parcells left the Dolphins, Ross assured Ireland that Peterson was not in the Dolphins' plans. He went so far as to change Ireland's contract, ensuring Ireland reported only to Ross.
However, with an 0-5 start, the rumors of Peterson coming to Miami have begun to surface again. Ross and Peterson have known each other for over 30 years, from back when Ross owned the USFL's Philadelphia Stars, where he hired Peterson as GM.
More recently, the two have served as business partners on multiple projects, most recently on the FanVision product that is present in several stadiums.
The current, so-persistent-it's-nearly-true rumor is that Peterson is serving as a consultant to Ross, evaluating the performances of Sparano and Ireland. Peterson has been seen at multiple Dolphins games this year, including last Monday's loss to the Jets in New York.
Mike Florio of Pro-Football Talk, reported recently on the involvement of Peterson with the Dolphins:
"The working theory is that Peterson will, at a minimum, be heavily involved in selecting the next G.M. and coach. Or Peterson will be the next G.M., at which time he could round up various former Chiefs officials, like Denny Thum and Bill Kuharich, who currently aren't employed by NFL teams."
But, maybe it's someone else connected to Peterson that interests Miami fans. As Florio puts it:
"Peterson also has a connection to former Steelers coach Bill Cowher, given that Cowher worked in Kansas City as an assistant coach before becoming the head coach in Pittsburgh. And with Ross reportedly wanting a superstar coach, Peterson could be instrumental in luring Cowher to Miami."
With all of the options available to Ross, should he decide to completely revamp the front office, Peterson is probably the leading contender for the job. The real question will be, however, what job is it? A big name coach, like Cowher, will most likely demand GM powers, or the ability to pick the GM. So, would Peterson take the job of running football operations, but defer personnel decisions to Cowher? Or, would a Peterson run organization look for a young, up-and-coming coach, leaving the personnel decisions to Peterson? Or, would Peterson really just be a consultant, helping Ross pick the right people, but not taking the job himself?
Over the next few months, as the drama of a bad Miami Dolphins season continues to unfold, we'll see what ultimately happens. Until then, the rumors of Peterson to the Dolphins will continue.