Dolphins To Play Tuna Games Every Year


The Miami Dolphins have a problem…or at least their fans do.  Wayne Huizenga as you remember sold the team to Stephen Ross which immediately put a 30 day ticker on whether or not Bill Parcells would stay in Miami or leave and collect his 12 million dollar salary.  Well apparently, that 30 days is over with and done with.  Out the window, doesn’t exist.  The Miami Dolphins will instead play the Tuna game for the next 3 years.

If there was one thing Wayne Huizenga was above and beyond all else, was nice.  Often too nice.  I met him 2 seasons ago at the teams training complex as part of a Web Weekend contingent that the Dolphins host.  I shook the mans hand, had a quick picture taken with him and then sat back down.  The following day as I stood on the sidelines snapping pictures, Mr. H. walked up and shook my hand again.  He asked me if I was “Having a good weekend” and if I enjoyed the festivities of the night before.  Here I am some schmoe and Wayne H. remembered me enough to walk up to me and the rest of the Dolphins web site guests.  So yes, he is nice.

Prior to the sale of the team however, it appears that Wayne was a little too nice.  He and Bill Parcells lifted the 30 day window for the Executive “BP” of Football Operations and replaced that 30 with an “at any time” clause.  This allows Bill Parcells to leave the team whenever he wants without question and collect the remaining portion of his salary.  Whether it be this season, next season, or the final season.  When Bill wants to go, Bill goes.

Parcells has stated that he wants to stay through the 2009 season, but what if he and Ross butt heads?  Bill’s gone.  He said this year will be an opportunity to develop a relationship with his new boss, and if he doesn’t like it…he can leave.

For Phins fans it’s not a matter of Parcells simply packing it up and leaving.  Now there is no cushion for the Dolphins.  If another team wants to throw a ton of money at the guy, Parcells can leave, take his remaining salary with him, collect that new salary, and that team owes the Dolphins nothing in the form of compensation.  So while it’s nice that Wayne has seen fit to give Parcells more than what he wanted, the fact is that his being too nice has put the Phins in a position that they will recoup nothing if Parcells leaves for another team.

Parcells for all it’s worth has it made in South Florida.  He comes and goes as he pleases, answers only to Ross, lives a short 45 minutes away give or take traffic, and can play golf any day of the week he wants to.  He doesn’t make road game trips and has no timetable for his office stays or visits.  It’s because of this that many feel that his stay in Miami will be longer than expected, yet for Parcells, he doesn’t seem to stay in one place too long.  Perhaps it’s a feeling related to a loss of freedom.  Perhaps he feels closed in.  Maybe he just likes to work around the NFL putting his thumbprint on as many players and staffs that he can.

What we do know with certainty is that the 30 day window means nothing because it doesn’t exist.  We also know that BP can pack up and leave anytime he wants and go wherever he wants and there is nothing that anyone can do to stop him.  Not this year, not next year, not the year after that.