SBD/January 24, 2011/Franchises

NFL Franchise Notes: Dolphins Give GM Jeff Ireland Multiyear Extension

The Dolphins on Saturday announced that they have extended GM Jeff Ireland's contract "as part of a multiyear deal." In Miami, Jeff Darlington noted Ireland had just one year remaining on a contract he signed in '08, so the extension "makes good sense, especially in the wake" of Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross also giving coach Tony Sparano a two-year extension. Providing the "same stability for Ireland gives the organization a level of continuity moving forward" (MIAMI HERALD, 1/23). Dolphins CEO Mike Dee confirmed that Bill Parcells is "totally out [of] the picture" for the team. Dee also said he and Ross had no involvement in hiring Brian Daboll as offensive coordinator and added, "This is Jeff and Tony's deal at this point" (PALMBEACHPOST.com, 1/21).

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: In Cincinnati, Joe Reedy reported "two-thirds" of 176 Bengals season-ticket holders who responded to an inquiry from the Cincinnati Enquirer said that they "plan on canceling." Of the respondents, "only 59 said they would renew." Reedy noted over the past three seasons, the Bengals have "gone from a waiting list for season tickets to failing to sell out the last four home games this past season and seeing their 57-game streak of regular-season and postseason sellouts end." Even after winning the AFC North in '09, "season ticket sales were flat last year with the number of new accounts relatively the same as cancellations" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 1/22).

BLANK CHECK-IN: Falcons Owner Arthur Blank last Thursday, following his team's exit from the playoffs, said, "I could not be prouder of the way our fans stood up for this team and for this franchise since I’ve been the owner of this franchise. Over a nine-year period of time, we’ve had two games that were not sold out. That’s a tremendous credit to you in supporting this franchise." Blank stars in an NFL "Play 60" spot, and he said, "I’ve taken so much heat from my wife and children for that commercial because I’m obviously the only one that’s not in tune with everybody else" (AJC.com, 1/24).
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