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Dolphins unwilling to pay Flynn franchise QB money

Discord and angry rants in newsprint. Fan protests on boiling Miami streets on a Tuesday afternoon. Viciously worded billboards and banners flown overhead Sun Life Stadium.

These are the days and nights of Jeff Ireland.

The Dolphins general manager has kept relatively silent despite a firestorm of criticism from Miami's fan base and a slate of NFL players -- everyone from Steelers safety Ryan Clark to former Dolphins defenders Channing Crowder and Joey Porter -- who paint Ireland as a problem child roaming South Beach. A figure players don't want to mix with.

Dolphins-related angst peaked when free-agent quarterback Matt Flynn, the perceived soul mate of coach Joe Philbin, bypassed Miami to sign with Seattle. Flynn said the Seahawks were "led by the right type of people," perceived by some as another ugly review of Miami's front office.

A Dolphins source told's Jeff Darlington the team was willing to offer Flynn just under $4 million per year because they weren't convinced he was a franchise quarterback. Seattle committed to paying the former Packers backup more than double at nearly $8 million per year on a three-year deal.

"I've never been degrading," Ireland told Darlington this week at the NFL Annual Meeting. "I'm abrupt. I'm brutally honest. And I'm not going to lie to anybody. I don't try to tell them something to get them in the door and tell them something different after they sign. That's not me.

"I haven't missed out on too many players I've gone after. Peyton Manning? I'm a small piece of that situation. Matt Flynn? That was half his decision, and it was half our decision."

In his column that dropped Friday, Darlington delivers the other side of the coin on one of the league's most embattled executives. We suggest you sit back, click in and enjoy the ride.

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