Ed Andrieski/Associated Press
The previous four decisions will be made by someone who doesn't work for the team yet.
When it comes to Miami's general manager, I would've began vetting candidates back in November, then really began the search in earnest on December 30 (along with head coach and all other positions on the staff).
But the Dolphins legitimately thought that they would win one of their final two games and make the playoffs. I salute their optimism (they did have every reason to be optimistic), but in the long run, it might have hurt them.
Now with Senior Bowl week starting Monday, Miami has scouts, but no general manager for them to report to.
Since Jeff Ireland parted ways with the Dolphins two weeks ago, Miami has interviewed seven candidates, with three front-runners: Brian Xanders (pictured above), Ray Farmer and Dennis Hickey.
All three bring backgrounds and histories that I like, but all come with questions. With Xanders, I can point to his days in Denver when he was in charge of the draft, which helped net much of the talent on the Broncos' now-Super Bowl-bound roster.
I can also knock him for drafting Tim Tebow, even though that seemed to be Josh McDaniels' decision.
Farmer has been great in scouting pro personnel in the past with the Kansas City Chiefs; however, his draft experience seems lacking.
Then there's Hickey, who helped draft much of the talent on a talent-laden Buccaneers roster (which was considered to be an underachieving roster). However, if Hickey is so great, why aren't the Bucs considering him for their general manager opening?
Each candidate has questions surrounding them, and that shouldn't be held up as judgement on the Dolphins like many in the media like to do, for every general manager candidate has questions surrounding them.
Said questions are what make this process a fun, yet frustrating one to follow, and because of that, maybe it isn't such a bad thing that the Dolphins are taking their time and doing their due diligence.
Because of that, I'm actually OK with Stephen Ross flying out to London and China to focus on his real estate holdings while letting the football people in place (Carl Peterson) vet the potential GMs.
This is only the most important decision the Dolphins will make for the next decade, don't you want them to be careful and do their homework?
I know I do, and I'm glad they are. I just wish they would've handled it better, like not leaving the candidates in the dark before their potential future boss travels abroad (as is being reported by Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports).
I also wish this search would've started much earlier, but there's no need to dwell on past mistakes, for it's time to look forward to the future to see if said mistakes can be cleaned up.