The Stephen Ross story has been overblown

DAVIE, FL - JANUARY 09: The Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and Executive vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum announce Adam Gase as their new head coach at Sunlife Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Davie, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DAVIE, FL - JANUARY 09: The Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and Executive vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum announce Adam Gase as their new head coach at Sunlife Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Davie, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has been in the news a lot this week with the reports that he was not blown away with Miami’s early-round selections.

Now that the NFL Draft is over, this becomes the time of year where anything becomes a story just so that we have something to talk about. So when the report came out earlier this week that Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was not thrilled with the Dolphins selections (at least in the early rounds), naturally the story blew up.

Originally, it was Ben Volin of the Boston Globe who broke the news, but it was highly skeptical as it implied that Ross was looking to save some money in the process.

Ross has never been one too shy to spend money. He did just dish out $10 million to Jay Cutler last season in hopes that he could be the Dolphins savior. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald did confirm, however, that Ross did indeed speak up on draft night. Ross himself admitted that he wanted the team to think more strategically, and consider trading down in order to pick up additional picks. He assured that money was not a factor.

With Minkah Fitzpatrick still sitting on the board however, Chris Grier, Mike Tannenbaum, and Adam Gase all agreed that he should be the pick at 11. Fitzpatrick has the potential to be one of the best defensive players this team has ever seen so they were absolutely right in taking Fitzpatrick with the pick. That doesn’t exactly mean that Ross is totally wrong either though.

The Dolphins are his team, it is his money being spent (even if it’s not a concern for a guy like him), and it therefore is his right to ask questions regarding the operations. Thankfully, Ross does not have final say on decisions, and he understands that he has hired more experienced personnel to make those decisions. Asking questions and insisting his personnel to think strategically is not exactly stepping out of bounds.

The story has been a bit overblown as of late, insisting that Ross is a guy who doesn’t know what he is talking about, and that he needs to stay out of it. He absolutely doesn’t know what he is talking about in terms of football, but to insist he needs to stay out of it all is over the line. He is the owner at the end of the day.

More importantly, he’s the owner of a team that has flirted with mediocrity for the entire decade that he’s been a part of it. Ross has stayed out of the decision-making for the better part of that decade, excluding one minor instance within his first year as owner. But even though Ross may not know a whole lot about football, he knows that he wants a winner, and that’s an area that Miami has not delivered.

Could it be argued that Ross has simply hired the wrong personnel to get the job done, and deserves much of the blame himself? Absolutely. Ross has gone through multiple regime changes, typically keeping one guy in favor of another, which has turned out drastically. In all likelihood, he should have made complete overhauls instead of trying to put management teams together that didn’t gel.

But arguing what should have been in the past does nothing for the now. I think it’s pretty clear that Grier, Tannenbaum, and even Gase are on borrowed time. Ross wants to see changes in the right direction, and he probably just simply doesn’t believe that Fitzpatrick is a big enough splash to do it.

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The whole story reminds me of the movie Draft Day with Kevin Costner. If you haven’t seen it already do yourself the favor. Costner plays the general manager of the Browns, and the owner, who knows less than Ross about football, wants him to draft a quarterback because he “hears it’s a good thing to have”. Costner, on the other hand, wants to take who he thinks is the best linebacker in the draft to help solidify his defense.

The owner doesn’t think a defensive player is a splash. That’s kind of how this looks when it pertains to Ross. Ross probably wanted the Dolphins to land a quarterback for their big splash, but by the time they were all off the board, he thought it was best that the team move back for more assets.

We ourselves as fans and self-proclaimed experts debated back and forth for weeks as to whether the Dolphins should move up or trade back in the draft. Very few of us could have projected Fitzpatrick to still be available at 11, and he was certainly worth the selection.

Most of us did not think that Mike Gesicki was going to be available for the Dolphins in round 2, but low and behold there he was. Two excellent picks for Miami, but what Ross doesn’t see is a quarterback. And for a guy who knows very little about football, there’s probably not much to be blown away over in regards to a safety and a tight end.

Grier has actually done a very good job, particularly in the last two drafts, with selecting talent. Time will tell if that transitions over to the football field, and that is where Ross is probably getting impatient. He definitely could have done things differently down the road, but he’s eager to see Miami become a winning franchise. He hasn’t even seen them win a playoff game yet as an owner.

I have no problem with him asking questions to his team in the draft room. I have no issues with him giving strategic advice even if it does lead to eye-rolls across the room for his lack of knowledge on the topic. As long as he’s not pounding the table for the move, and having the final say, it’s not that serious. I’d take a guy like Ross over Jerry Jones any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.