Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland signs new deal

Two weeks after extending an olive branch to coach Tony Sparano, the Miami Dolphins have given the general manager who helped orchestrate the mea culpa his own new deal.

The Dolphins announced Saturday that Jeff Ireland had signed a multiyear contract extension.

"I appreciate the support of the entire Dolphin organization, from Steve Ross all the way down," Ireland said in a news release, referring to the team owner. "And I'm going to continue to work as hard as I can with Steve, Tony Sparano, and the rest of the team to bring the Dolphins back to their long-time position as one of the elite teams in the NFL."

Ireland, who with Ross courted former Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh before he joined the San Francisco 49ers, was also key in coming to terms with Sparano in the aftermath earlier this month.

Sparano was signed to a three-year extension.

Ireland joined the Dolphins in January 2008 after seven years with the Dallas Cowboys in their player-personnel department. Miami has gone 11-5, 7-9 and 7-9 in the three seasons since, missing two consecutive postseasons.

"The decision to extend Jeff's contract as our general manager was an easy one," Ross said in the release. "The young talent that Jeff has assembled during his three years with the Dolphins has made a profound impact on our franchise's recovery from the 1-15 season of 2007.

"Jeff has my full support moving forward as we pursue our goals to build the best and brightest front office in the National Football League and ultimately to win a Super Bowl championship for all of South Florida and Dolphin fans around the world."

Ireland, a Texas native who played at Baylor, began in the NFL as a scout for the National Scouting Combine before joining the Kansas City Chiefs' personnel department in 1997.
He was hired by the Cowboys as a national scout in 2001 and was elevated to the vice president's role four years later.

"We have a young and talented nucleus to build on, and as we continue to add quality players through all the means available to us, we will give our fans the type of team they deserve," Ireland said in the statement.

Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and The Associated Press was included in this report.