Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross released a statement Thursday night attempting to clarify the process for finding a new general manager and adding he "will make the final decision on who to hire."
Ross said the Dolphins will begin interviewing candidates on Friday, three days after the team and former general manager Jeff Ireland parted ways.
"It will be a thorough process with the goal of bringing the best person to help us build a team that will be a consistent winner," said Ross, who added he will be assisted in the search by former Kansas City Chiefs president/general manager Carl Peterson.
Ross said the Dolphins media relations department will release an update on the list of candidates when interviews are finalized.
Amid reports Miami’s management structure is at best unusual and at worst dysfunctional, Ross tried to define the responsibilities of Ireland’s replacement.
"The new general manager will have autonomous responsibility for the 53-man roster and selecting players during the draft and will report to me," Ross said in the release. "First and foremost, this person must have a passion for the game and demonstrated player-evaluation expertise. They will need to be a person who is a collaborative team player that puts the organization first.
"Regardless of reporting structure, the relationship between the general manager and coach (Joe) Philbin must be one of trust, respect, and collaboration, and this will be an area we will look closely at during the process. This individual also must be a person with integrity who is open-minded and creative."
The Miami Herald reported Wednesday that a disconnect had developed between Ireland and Philbin, who had an ally in executive vice president of football administration Dawn Aponte.
Ross said Peterson, whom the owner has "had a business relationship for almost 30 years dating back to the USFL," will advise on the search but will not have a role with the Dolphins after a new general manger has been named.
"I’ve known Steve for a long time and I know that no one wants to bring a winner to Miami more than he does," Peterson said. "I look forward to advising Steve through this search and I am confident that he will add an outstanding candidate with a proven track record in talent evaluation to the Dolphins."
Ross said Philbin and his staff were continuing their offseason activities, which included finding a offensive coordinator. Mike Sherman, who performed the job the past two seasons, was fired on Monday.
The owner also said Dolphins personnel was preparing for the draft and working on all other aspects of player evaluation.
"At the end of this (general-manager search) process, we will be a stronger organization with people working together to build a Championship team," Ross said.