INDIANAPOLIS — We heard from Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland on Thursday at the combine, his first comments in a public setting on the team’s attempted release of veteran LB Joey Porter. After the first few questions for Ireland dealt with the combine, it was only a matter of time before the Porter issue came up.
Ireland insisted the Dolphins’ attempt to release Porter on Feb. 12 had nothing to do with his off-the-field comments, which included telling NFL Network that he wanted no part of the team’s youth movement.
“It had nothing in the bearing of why we released Joey, or the intent was to release Joey that day,” Ireland said. “None of the talking off the field had anything to do with why we attempted to release him. It was basically performance on the field is why we attempted to release him.”
Porter remains on the Dolphins’ roster because of a salary-cap issue, but it’s expected that the team will release him with the start of free agency and the expected uncapped year beginning March 5. Even so, Ireland wouldn’t completely close the door when it was suggested that a resolution could happen between now and then.
“There’s always a chance,” Ireland responded. “Right now, he’s a player on our roster. He’s a player under contract on our roster. We’ll be making those decisions here in the next couple of weeks.”
Reading in between those lines, though, it’s a long shot.
In the last of the back-and-forth on Porter, Ireland was asked if the situation was something he’d be willing to work on.
“That’s a tough question, to be honest with you,” Ireland said. “It goes both ways.”
— Frank Tadych