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CEO Mike Dee leaving Dolphins for new job

Mike Dee, the Dolphins CEO since 2009, will leave the team within the next month to become President and CEO of the San Diego Padres.

The Dolphins and Padres are expected to announce the move today. Dee will replace Tom Garfinkel, who resigned his San Diego post last week.

[Update: Both teams have announced the hiring.]

"It's a chance to return to my roots," said Dee, who worked previously for the Padres (1995-2002) as well as the Boston Red Sox before joining the Dolphins. "This is a great opportunity to run a team and a facility. It's a chance to sail a ship I helped construct."

Dee will wield unquestioned power in San Diego, where he will oversee the business side of the team and also have baseball operations under his control. The Padres general manager will answer to Dee.

The Dolphins' business model is to split the franchise into a football operations side run by General Manager Jeff Ireland and a business side that is run by the CEO. Both answer to owner Stephen Ross but not each other.

A club source with knowledge Ross's thinking said the club will continue that model going forward. The club has already hired New Jersey based Turnkey Sports as a headhunter to help in the search for Miami's next CEO.

That search has already taken its initial steps and the Dolphins source said while there is no official timetable for filling Dee's vacancy, the club hopes to have a new CEO in place sometime before the end of the 2013 season if not by the time it begins. Dee said he would stay on the next 2-4 weeks to help the Dolphins transition to the next CEO.

Dee met with Dolphins staff at 11 a.m. to tell them of his departure.

While he is excited about returning to major league baseball and a team he was previously connected to, Dee leaves with fond memories about the football team he's always rooted for.

"I love this franchise," he said of the Dolphins. "I have great respect and love for the history of this franchise -- coach [Don] Shula and the alumni. It's been a wonderful four years for me. I got a chance to meet a lot of great men I grew up idolizing and I found out they're great players and better people."

During his tenure, the Dolphins continued their tradition of celebrating their history while also stepping up their participation in community activities and philanthropy. The Dolphins Cycling Challenge raised over $1 million for the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center the past two years. Dee also initiated an annual blood drive that was very successful.

Dee was the local eyes and ears for Ross, who spends his time primarily in New York. Although Ross was not a fan of the Dolphins fight song and initially shelved it, Dee forged a compromise to return it to Sun Life after he listened to complaints from fans.

But it hasn't been all success.

Although he negotiated a stadium naming rights deal with Sun Life, Dee met stiff political opposition when he spearheaded the club's attempt to seek partial public financing to upgrade the 25-year-old stadium. The most recent effort to strike a public-private partnership to upgrade Sun Life Stadium failed in March.

The new CEO will have to pick up that torch because the issue has not gone away. Although the Dolphins may not seek public funding again in 2013 -- a decision not yet cemented -- they definitely will seek it again in the future. The new CEO will also have to try to increase the season ticket base that currently stands at about 40,000. It'll be a challenge unless the Dolphins change course on the field after four consecutive losing seasons.

The new CEO, like Dee, will have nothing to do with Miami's football success. Yet, like Dee, the new hire will have to try and translate whatever success football operations has into business success.

Turnkey's search is expected to focus first on people with NFL experience.

In 2009, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell informed NFL clubs that the mandatory Rooney Rule interview requirements currently in place for the head coach position had been extended to the senior football operations position at each club. 

This policy specifically requires clubs to interview at least one minority candidate as part of the hiring process for a club's senior football operations position, whether described as general manager, executive vice president of football operations, or otherwise.

The requirement does not apply in cases where the position is held or filled by the owner or a member of his family, or where a club has a pre-existing contractual commitment filed with the league office to promote a current member of its staff if the senior football operations position becomes vacant.

Although it is not required, Goodell strongly urged clubs in today’s memo to interview a broad and diverse slate of candidates for a wide range of football operations roles, including scouting, player personnel, and contract and cap management positions. "The more thorough the search, the more likely clubs are to find the right candidates, and to be able to groom future leaders from within their organizations," the commissioner said.

Ross released a statement through the team. It reads:

"I want to thank Mike Dee for his leadership over the past four years to the Miami Dolphins and wish him the best in his new position with the San Diego Padres. Under Mike, we have broadened our role in the community, improved our technology footprint within the organization and enhanced our customer service to our fans. As a result of Mike’s leadership and combined with the hard work of our football operations department, I feel that the organization is well positioned for future success both on and off the field. We will begin the process immediately to bring in a new CEO and I have retained Turnkey Sports and Entertainment to lead this search. Mike will be in the office over the next several weeks as he makes the transition to his new position. We wish him and his family the very best in this new chapter of his life."


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Truth, I think Thomas went 3rd overall to the Browns. Jake left because he was pissy that Ireland wouldn't gave him 10-11 million a year and a bunch of guaranteed money. We'll probably be better off without him.

NeMo, long time man!!

Big year I hope!!

Long's skills seemed to be on the decline last year. And 11 million a year is too much for a lineman. Your linemen need to play like superstars when it counts not be paid like them.

I have to side with Truth. jake was a fraud. He was no leader. he chose personal pride over the team. And I heard the Dolphins offer was even better than the Rams but he left because the offer was lower than the one he got in season. He gave the Dolphins the big FU. We will always remember that Jake.

I think Jake Long never felt comfortable in our pass first, zone blocking line scheme.

He was a Big-10 road grader and that is the kind of system he wants to play in. Jeff Fisher is coaches run oriented teams. So even though the money was pretty much the same, jake is getting back to where he is comfortable on the football field. Ireland saw it coming and that is why we got J. Martin.

Funny to hear guys still going on about Jake. Who cares! He's gone. He was a warrior when he was here. He was vastly overpaid but that's because he went first overall under the old CBA. Not his fault the money he was paid. So let's not confuse his play with the money he was paid and the fact people think Ryan should have been picked. So sick of hearing this argument. Nobody has a clue how Ryan would have made out on a talent poor 1-15 football team. He could have been David Carr Part Deux. These QBs aren't plug and play. You'd better have some guys around him to help.

So Long's gone. How about we focus on the guys that are here.

Glad to be back and glad camp is about to start Mark.

I really have convinced myself that this team is going to win the division this year.

Wallace and Keller are two weapons on offense. I like what I hear about Lamar Miller training hard with Frank Gore in the offseason when most players are on vacation. I see Tannehill getting 25 TD's minimum rushing and passing with more experience and more weapons.

The defense should be better with Jordan or Vernon hopefully adding that compliment to Wake people here having been asking about for years. Ellerbe and Wheeler seem to have a knack for big plays like sacks and turnovers, which the team did not have in Dansby and Burnett. Grimes seems to be healty and the guy makes plays, so he'll be a big upgrade over Smith.

The Pats look shaky with no Hernandez, Lloyd, Welker, or Woodhead. Gronk and Amendola have big injury questions. Really pumped for this season !

NObody is sparking the debate Craig, although there is no debate. That one was decided long ago.

Simply Jake was no leader. he was always all about Jake. Ur right tho, fukk him, he's gone and left to get whipsawed by the 9ers and hawks for the next couple of years.

Ellerbe could be another Dansby but I hope not. This is a MLB we picked up from a Super Bowl contestant that played well in the playoffs. The scenario is eerily similar. Hopefully this time with better results, not the Dansby was bad, just that he was never what he was paid to be.

Craig M, its was one simple comment made about Long not sure why you have your panties in a bunch. Anyways Im looking forward to see what Tannehill looks like in actual practice with pads on, you cant make any sort of judgement when guys are running around in shorts. BTW Enjoy Mike Wallace for 2 seasons because if he doesnt produce at least 2 1200 yards seasons and 8 to 12 TD a year he'll be cut after the 2015 season.

The Rams Want To Go Spread. I Don't Know How That Is Road Grading. Remember They Got Rid Of S.Jackson. And Drafted 2 Midget WRs. They Want To Run An Offense Bradford Knows.

Jackie Long Was Mad The Qbs Wife Was Hotter. She Was Use To Competing With Henne's Wife. Remember Jackie Runs Jake.

And The Crime Rate Is Higher In St.Louis Than In Miami. So Don't Give Me This They Wanted A Better Place. Plus, Celebrities Will Be More At Home In Miami Than The Midwest. We Don't Gawk Over People In Miami.

And Funny How The Only 2 People who Wanted To Resign Jake Don't Care About Him Anymore. But Jake Long Fans Are Starting To Come Out The Wood works.


Nemo, Im also looking forward to Grimes as the #1 CB, ppl forget he was coming off a pro bowl season when he tore his achilles. The guy is miles better than SS, and is a playmaker unlike SS who only reacted after the WR caught the ball or even worse dropped interceptions thrown into his hands.

Was it that Buafflo game the SOB dropped a pick that woulda put the Dolphins back in the game...

Dashi if I recalled you were the biggest Jake Long fan seems you flip flop to bashing him now.


Posted by: Dashi | July 18, 2013 at 10:41 AM

I agree. I wasn't interested in resigning Long. I wanted us to get Lane Johnson but I'm cautiously optimistic about us getting Jordan and Martin improving.


I'm Stating The Obvious. Like Craig Is. I Still Like Jake. But He Isn't A Dolphin So He Gets No Love From Me. Specially After She Showed Her True Colors.

What I Am Saying Is If Anybody Should Still Be Talking About Jake. It Is Dashi And Craig M. Like You Said, Dashi Was The Biggest Jake Fan. I Was The Only One Saying Pay Jake. Ireland Was Willing To Pay Him. Jake Just Showed He Lacks "It". Nevermind How Much The Fins Already Paid Jake. He Should've Signed For Less To Stay.

Truth, I remember specifically vs the Bills and the Colts Smith dropping potentially game changing Interceptions.

I'm Not That Worried About Martin. He Seems Like He Gets It. And We Have A Great O-Line Coach. Plus, He Is Playing His Natural Position.

And Clabo Is A Legit RT. Philbin Isn't Spo, He Understands What A Football Player Looks Like.

Dark oak,

I Like Most Your Post. But Take That Back. Don't Ever Wish Ellerbe Will Be Like Dansby At Anything. Ellerbe Doesn't Look Like A Me First Player. A Guy That Throws A 15-0 Lead With 2 Minutes Left And The Other Teams QB Is T.Tebow.

A Guy That Let's The Pats Run The Same Screen 5 Times On The Same Drive And Doesn't Even Audible Once. A Guy That Every time T-Hill Took A Lead In The 4Th Qtr He Gave It Right Back The Next Series. Look At The Cardinal Game, The First Jets Game, The Colts Game, And A Few Other Ones.

Ellerbe Can Cover. Ellerbe Doesn't Look Like He Will Fake A Injury. A la Dansby.

I agree with Dashi about Dansby that guy was sooooo garbage, answer this how is it that both of your Safeties (Clemmons and Rashod) had over 100 tackles, your freaking LBers arent doing there job! The guy didnt sck the QB, didnt make tackles, and dropped picks. Overpaid and Overrated.

Doesn't make sense to compare Dansby to Ellerbee.


Heck, we Were Battling In The 4th Qtr Against The 49ers. Until Dansby Let Kap Run By Him To Break The Game Open.

Yes, The OLB Contains The Edge. But The MLB Goes Sideline To Sideline. Dansby Went Hash Mark To Hash Mark.

and fat.



Dashi and mike I wasn't comparing them as players or wishing Ellerbe turns out like Dansby, I said that the scenario for signing them as free agents was very similar. Both played in the Super Bowl, both played well in the playoffs leading up to said Super Bowl, both got a big payday and a new team based on that performance.

Is that a bit clearer?

Don't expect Vonta Leach to sign with anybody until after the HOF Game.

Is that because you read an article this morning Oscar mentioning that teams won't lock in their 90 players until they play their first pre-season game? All the other teams of course start later than the Fins and Cowboys.

Sure. I didn't read the article, Darkoak, but it makes sense to Leach, and me.


I'm not sure I'm getting my panties in a bunch over Long but thanks for your concern. What I don't do is live in the past. It's like an old girlfriend.... That was then this is now. I'd rather talk about the guys that are here and want to be here. So tied of hearing the Ryan argument. It's pointless. If I'd only studied harder in school I would have been a brain surgeon or lawyer. I didn't....so what's the point of playing it over and over again? Joe Thomas? Again a pointless argument. So Long wasn't Thomas. So what? What he gave us was a few good seasons, while being vastly overpaid. I just don't get this need to talk about it all the time. People talk about Long like has was Jemarcus Russell or something. It's comical tome.

Well Craig, Long just left the team, and the topic of him is a natural segway from Martin discussions. We won't know if letting him leave was a mistake until the season starts.

Practice without pads mean little. I imagine they will be putting them on pretty soon. They have a Game coming in just 2 weeks.

Ellerbe Can Cover. Ellerbe Doesn't Look Like He Will Fake A Injury. A la Dansby.

Posted by: Dashi | July 18, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Dansby was an OLB switched to MLB in Miami who never adapted to the switch given his inability to call audibles or occupy space in zone D. The weakside OLB Pos. (in 3/4 which he played his whole career) as I'm sure everybody here knows without explanation requires a pass rusher who can set the edge and cover Backs out of the backfield. In other words a Pos. of read-n-reacting more than thinking before the snap and calling out a formation or changing a D call. This was the one glaring weakness in Dansby's game as a Miami Dolphin which cost us late in those 4th Qrt. collapses were he couldn't adjust to how the Offenses had adjusted to us audibling the D plain and simple!

Lost on some of you is the 2011 Season when Burnett then in his 1st Season with Miami called an audible in S.D. were Rivers hits V.J. on a long pass play were the DB's confused by the call (in large part because N.Carroll was starting at CB and Jimmy Wilson was on the field as well in Nickle) Everybody roasted Burnett for making the call given he was in his 4th game as a Fin (Henne's last start and 1st for Moore)and he later apologized for it but I remember thinking it was more an indictment of Dansby's inability to adapt and get out of his base D to counter what S.D. was doing which if memory serves thy had abandoned they're run game which we were stuffing and were attacking us in the middle of the field before the long pass inside our 5 to V.J.

All this and we still haven't touched his work in pass D were he was a complete liablity and I could go on with example after example for another couple of paragraphs. At MLB you need a smart player aside from athlete look Zach wasn't the best athlete but he knew how to read and fall into the soft spots in the zone's were he made alot of plays aside from calling out the D on audibles putting everybody in the right spot a weakness with Dansby, no denying it! London Fletcher in Wash. right now even at 37 is probably the best at putting his D in right call and the reason he's still highly functionable in todays game. I don't see how Ellerbee could do worse, IMHO!

We had a GREAT Party with some very Good Friends.
Posted by: odinseye | July 18, 2013 at 02:54 AM

Mike Dee leaving just days before the season starts is very puzzling.

Ellerbe won't be playing on a SB team. Hard to say how he will do with his limited experience and a new team with lot's of new players.

Now it is coming out the Dion contract situation could get ugly over the offset language. Neither side is willing to budge.

what does offset language means?

what does offset language means?

Posted by: Truth | July 18, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Sorry I don't speak ebonics.


Since we, the state of Fla., has been knighted the "Apartheid" state by the ever present media idiot, Jessie Jackson, why should Ross do anything? I havent seen Jackson on TV in years but in a black shooting they come out of the wood work like worms feasting on a dead corps,,,no pun intended, especially if it involves an Hispanic who looks white. Jessie should set his sights on Detroit Mich., who just went belly up and has the highest gun deaths in the country and the strictest gun control out side NY, NY. Those silly Detroit street gangs just cant stay home.

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