The Dolphins (8-8) would have made the playoffs if they had won one of their final two games against the Bills and Jets. Instead, they were beaten by a combined score of 39-7.
Ross spent more than $100 million in guaranteed money last offseason to upgrade the roster, and the investment delivered only slight improvement from a 7-9 record in 2012.
Ireland, a protege of Bill Parcells, was hired as general manager in 2008, and the Dolphins won the AFC East in his first season. But they haven't been above .500 since, the longest such stretch in franchise history.
Ireland's personnel decisions have produced mixed results. This season, $60 million newcomer Mike Wallace had a career-low five touchdown catches, but free-agent acquisition Brent Grimes made the Pro Bowl.
In 2012, Ireland drafted Ryan Tannehill, who shows signs of becoming the franchise quarterback Miami has sought since Dan Marino retired following the 1999 season. But Ireland's 2013 draft picks played the fewest snaps of any team in the NFL, including overall No. 3 choice Dion Jordan, who had only two sacks all year.
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