When the Dolphins and Jeff Ireland "mutually agree[d]" to part ways on Tuesday, the thought was that since the team was going to strip the general manager of his power, Ireland decided to leave the team on his own.

On Wednesday, the Miami Herald revealed some of the power struggle that went on behind the scenes between Ireland, coach Joe Philbin and executive vice president of football administration Dawn Aponte. And it's really something.

Reportedly, the relationship between Ireland and Philbin frayed at the end of this season because Aponte told Philbin about Ireland's complaints about the coaching staff that he vocalized during Miami's season-ending losses to the Bills and the Jets.

But what's even more interesting -- and perhaps more enlightening for potential Dolphins GM candidates -- is the role Aponte might have played in Ireland's vocational demise. Since owner Stephen Ross hired her, the Herald writes, she figured out a way to get out of being supervised by Ireland.

Writes Armando Salguero:

Ireland, seeing this, asked Ross to fire Aponte after the 2011 season. Ross didn't go for it and, indeed, after mulling the matter, actually promoted Aponte from Senior VP of Football Operations to her current Executive VP role. And in so doing, Ross doubled Aponte's salary. And got her out from under Ireland's umbrella. And Aponte joined parts of the coach search of 2012 that led to Philbin's hiring after Jeff Fisher turned the Dolphins down cold.

Knowing that Ireland had tried to get her fired, Aponte turned her sights on the GM. The relationship between the two, professional and even cordial in public at league meetings and alike, was a struggle for power behind the scenes.

Aponte then reportedly developed a close bond with Philbin after he was hired as coach.