Yep, Manning Only Talked to Dolphins as a Favor to Marino
How pathetic are the Dolphins' front office? They couldn't even secure a meeting with Peyton Manning on their own and had to enlist the help of Dan Marino. Yep, despite not having played for the 'Fins for 13 years and not having any official affiliation with the team, Marino continues to be just about the only consistently competent thing about this team. Of course, Marino isn't a fit to replace general manager Jeff Ireland, but more and more it looks like someone should move into Ireland's office.
Despite Manning having a home in Miami and despite the team's well-known need for a QB, Manning was apparently not that interested in coming to Miami at any point. The front office tried to get in contact with Manning's agents at the Creative Arts Agency, but the team came up cold. So, according to the Palm Beach Post, they asked Marino, an occasional golfing body of Manning, to intervene. He did manage to get the team a meeting.
Of course, that meeting wasn't even on the Fins home turf. Instead, team reps had to fly to Indianapolis on Monday to talk to Manning.
In the end, it wasn't a good sign that Marino was the only person in the Dolphins orbit who had an existing good relationship with Manning. And Marino isn't even involved with the Dolphins on any official level anymore. He currently collects his paychecks from CBS for his duties on NFL Today.
Relationships appear to be important to Manning, and his respect for and friendship with Denver Broncos president John Elway is believed to be a big reason why the Broncos now appear to be in the lead of the race for Manning.
Of course, it's not really the Dolphins fault that they didn't have someone closer to Manning. (Though, perhaps making a big play for Reggie Wayne could have helped in that respect.) However, the fact they couldn't even get the guy to answer their call doesn't exactly show that people around the league have a lot of respect for the current organization.
The good news is though that head coach Joe Philbin does have a good relationship with Matt Flynn -- a distant second in the ranking of free agent QBs. He's vowed to visit the Dolphins before making any other decisions.
However, the Manning snub is the latest example of how Jeff Ireland isn't doing many favors for the team. He doesn't have much respect around the league. I mean, sure, he has good relationships with people from his days with the Dallas Cowboys, but that's about it. And having good relations with Cowboys doesn't exactly amount to much.
Marino served for three weeks as senior vice president of football operations in 2004, but it didn't pan out. Marino clearly doesn't have front office aspirations, but perhaps he could help owner Stephen Ross land a meeting with someone better.