UPDATE (8:19 p.m. ET): The Dolphins announced that Gaine had a second interview completed on Friday.
The Miami Dolphins are moving ahead with the second interview stage of their general manager search with two candidates, according to reports. Tennessee Titans vice president of player personnel Lake Dawson and Dolphins assistant GM Brian Gaine appear to be the two finalists to replace Jeff Ireland.
The search took a dramatic turn Thursday when another impending finalist, Cleveland Browns assistant GM Ray Farmer, balked at a second interview. Farmer reportedly had reservations about the structure of the Dolphins' organization, and was unsure whether he would have the level of control over personnel he desired.
The situation demanded a lot of questions. Namely, how did Farmer come out of an interview that reportedly lasted at least five hours without an understanding of what his role would be? Farmer's last-minute decision to stay in Cleveland added more fuel to the perception that candidates are confused by the Dolphins' power structure. Among the general manager, head coach Joe Philbin and executive vice president of football administration Dawn Aponte, it's unclear who has final say over personnel and players when reporting to owner Stephen Ross.
Now the Dolphins are down to Dawson and Gaine. In Dawson, they would receive a GM with 20 years of experience as a player and executive. He spent the last eight years in the Titans' organization, the last three overseeing the pro personnel and college scouting departments.
Gaine has less experience than Dawson, but he is much more familiar with the Dolphins' organization, having spent the last five years in Miami. He shouldn't have any questions about where he sits on the executive totem pole, but he also is a tie to the unsuccessful Ireland era. Gaine served under Ireland in Miami and as the assistant director of pro scouting for the Dallas Cowboys.