Miami was unable to sign either Peyton Manning or Matt Flynn, a popular team captain in Yeremiah Bell was cut, and Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall was traded for just two third round draft picks. There have been boycotts, banners flown on planes, and most recently protests calling for general manager Jeff Ireland to be fired.
Perhaps it was simply a PR stunt, or perhaps it was a genuine attempt to help ease the disappointment that the fans have. Either way, Ross offered answers.
Regarding the Brandon Marshall trade, Lawrence said that Ross told him, "They had been shopping [Marshall] for a couple weeks," According to the Sun-Sentinel. "Nobody would return their phone calls about getting him. If Chicago didn't take [Marshall] … they would have ended up cutting him very shortly after that, and got nothing."
According to Lawrence, who has been a season ticket holder for over 20 seasons, Ross also expressed his disappointment in not signing Manning. He had an opportunity to meet with the free agent quarterback for an hour and a half, where Manning told Ross he was not comfortable with the Dolphins.
The presumed second and third free agent options, Flynn and Alex Smith, would have come at too high of a price. "[Ross] goes, 'If my coach wanted Matt Flynn didn't you think he would be here?'" Lawrence said. "'If my coach said I want Matt Flynn as our starting quarterback next year he would be here, but I couldn't pay Matt Flynn $8 million to come here. If I end up getting him, it's a gamble … and I'm still drafting a quarterback. I'm still looking for another option."
Smith was looked at as similar to incumbent starter Matt Moore, and Ross said he couldn't justify paying him $8 million a year. Ross also quickly ruled out trading for Tim Tebow, Lawrence saying that "[He] told the staff immediately unless Tim Tebow can help them win they're not interested in getting him."
Ross did indicate that he was remorseful about cutting longtime Dolphin Bell. At the end of the conversation, he reassured the protesting fan that he was dedicated to building a winning team.
"[Ross] said, 'I'm telling you right now I want to sit next to you and I want to beat my chest with you,'" Lawrence said. "'I didn't buy this team to make money, or to run a business. I'm passionate. I want to win, I'm a winner.'"
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