WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

The addition of Dan Marino to the front office certainly was a headline-grabbing move by the Dolphins. But just exactly what will his addition mean to the way the Dolphins do things?

That was perhaps the biggest question after Monday's surprise announcement.

The Dolphins outlined that both Coach Dave Wannstedt and newly appointed general manager Rick Spielman would report to Marino, who would report to owner Wayne Huizenga.

That means, in essence, that Marino is the boss of both Wannstedt and Spielman, who the Dolphins promoted after deciding that none of the other six candidates they had interviewed could do a better job.

Spielman indicated he signed a standard general manager contract giving him final authority over all personnel decisions.

But think about this: What if Marino disagrees with a personnel decision, for example, what if Marino prefers going after Mark Brunell in the offseason while Spielman prefers going after Kurt Warner?

Spielman might have final say over that particular call, but he reports to Marino, so doesn't that technically mean that Marino is the final word.

Spielman said Monday that Marino has no veto power over him, but that might be getting into semantics.

It might not even be an issue for a while because Marino indicated Monday he wasn't ready to tackle many personnel decisions because of his lack of front-office experience.

But Marino made it clear — and Huizenga vehemently emphasized it — that he wasn't coming aboard as merely a figurehead.

So at some point, if we are to believe what is being said, Marino is going to want to put his stamp on the Dolphins. What happens then?

There were some who viewed the hiring of Marino as a public relations move to overshadow the fact that the promotion of Spielman meant the same cast of character as last year, a situation not very popular with many of the team's fans.

It sure looks that way at this point, although we do expect Marino to become a factor at some point. The big question is exactly how soon that will come and what ramifications it might entail.

In the meantime, the return of No. 13 just made for a good story.


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