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Dolphins hire Dennis Hickey as GM

The Dolphins have hired Tampa Bay director of player personnel Dennis Hickey as their new GM, according to a league source.

Hickey accepted the job this morning after multiple people turned down the offer, according to a source who decliend to say which people. It is known Nick Caserio turned down the job on Saturday.

[Update: ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Lake Dawson also turned down the job. The Tennessean is reporting Dawson released a statement saying he turned it down because "the details of the offer didn't align with my vision. I turned it down because the offer wasn't an ideal fit for my family and me."]

Hickey succeeds Jeff Ireland, who mutually agreed with the team to leave after serving as GM since 2008. Interestingly, Hickey gets this shot despite not interviewing with Tampa Bay, the team he's worked for 18 years, when that team looked for a GM this offseason.

Hickey worked 18 seasons with the Buccaneers, three as the director of player personnel, Dennis Hickey has helped lead the Buccaneers to four division titles and one Super Bowl championship during his 16-year tenure.

Hickey, who spent six seasons as director of college scouting prior to his promotion in 2011, is responsible for coordinating a staff of area scouts and managing the compilation of information on college players which has proven to be invaluable during the Buccaneers draft process. In addition to these duties, he also oversees the Pro Personnel Department, which evaluates all pro leagues, free agents and trade prospects.

Working side-by-side with General Manager Mark Dominik, Hickey helped oversee this year’s blockbuster offseason, including the signing of Pro Bowl S Dashon Goldson and trading for All-Pro CB Darrelle Revis, the 2009 AFC Defensive Player of the Year and widely considered the premier talent at his position. These moves come on the heels of a successful 2012 offseason, which saw the Buccaneers signing WR Vincent Jackson, who recorded career-highs in receptions and receiving yards, earning his a trip to the Pro Bowl, third of his career. The Buccaneers also managed to lure two-time Pro Bowl G away from division-rival New Orleans.

In addition to the touted free agents, Hickey and Dominik have worked together to draft premium talent. Despite having traded their 2013 first-round selection for Revis, the team still managed to get CB Johnthan Banks, the winner of the 2012 Jim Thorpe award, given annually to the top defensive back in college football. In 2012, Dominik and Hickey chose a highly regarded draft class, with S Mark Barron, RB Doug Martin and LB Lavonte David all being named to the PFW/PFWA All-Rookie Team. Martin was also selected to go the Pro Bowl, along with Jackson and 2010 first-round selection Gerald McCoy.

[Update: The Dolphins had four finalists for the job. The only one that was not offered the job was in-house candidate and assistant general manager Brian Gaine. It is unclear whether Gaine will remain with the team long term, although one source says that is unlikely and that he will eventually leave because he recognizes he has no shot at advancement within the Dolphins organization.]

The 2011 draft brought several new building blocks to Tampa Bay, starting with DE Adrian Clayborn, selected 20th overall. Clayborn started in all 16 games and recorded 54 tackles, a team-leading 7.5 sacks, 26 quarterback pressures, four TFL and three forced fumbles. DE Da’Quan Bowers, considered a steal in the second round, futher bolstered the defensive line, and finished the season as a starter. Third-round selection LB Mason Foster provided great production, recording statistics in every major defensive category with a team-leading 126 tackles, four TFL, 2.0 sacks, four quarterback pressures, one interception, two passes defensied, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Foster also led all NFL rookies in tackles.

In 2010, Hickey was instrumental in bringing in a draft class that proved itself on the field during its rookie season, where seven of the nine picks recorded at least one start, with the draft class recording a total of 49 starts on the season. In fact, WR Mike Williams, a fourth-round selection, started all 16 games his rookie season, leading all rookie receivers in the league in receptions (65, second on the team), yards (964, first on the team), and receiving touchdowns (11, single-season team record). Williams was a finalist for the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year and finished second in voting for AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.

In addition to the draft class, Hickey has helped find and bring many undrafted gems to Tampa Bay throughout the years, including RB LeGarrette Blount. Blount, an undrafted rookie free agent acquired off waivers from Tennessee in 2010, became just the second undrafted rookie running back in NFL history to record a 1,000+-yard season when he finished with 1,007 yards, despite starting only seven games, and was nominated for the NFL’s Rookie of the Week award on five occasions. Other notable Buccaneers Hickey has helped in attaining include DL Michael Bennett, WR Preston Parker, T Demar Dotson and C/G Ted Larsen.

With Hickey’s assistance, the 2009 draft was highlighted by the addition of first-round selection QB Josh Freeman. Freeman led all rookie quarterbacks in completion percentage (54.5) while setting Buccaneer rookie records in touchdown passes (10) and passing yards (1,855) despite starting in just nine games. The third round of 2009’s draft produced DT Roy Miller who proved to be a solid contributor along the defensive line. Miller finished the season tied for third among defensive linemen with 54 tackles while adding two sacks. Perhaps the steal of the draft came in the seventh round with the selection of WR Sammie Stroughter. Stroughter ranked third on the team with 31 receptions for 334 yards and one touchdown while adding a kickoff return for a touchdown.

The 2008 draft produced CB Aqib Talib, who tied for first in the NFL among rookies with four interceptions, OL Jeremy Zuttah, who started at both guard positions, and LB Geno Hayes, who was a big contributor on special teams before moving into a starting role. The Buccaneers also procured talent through the signing of undrafted rookie free agents RB/KR Clifton Smith and CB Elbert Mack. Smith was selected to the 2009 AFC/NFC Pro Bowl as the kick returner and was named AP Second-Team All-Pro kick returner while Mack appeared in 15 games in the secondary and on special teams where he ranked fourth on the team with 12 special teams stops.

In 2007, Hickey helped assemble a draft class that included two rookies that were selected to the PFW/PFWA All-Rookie team in DE Gaines Adams, who led all NFL rookies with six sacks, and G Arron Sears, as well as standout FS Tanard Jackson, who started all 16 games for the Buccaneers. The 2006 draft produced four rookies who saw starting action in their first season, including G Davin Joseph, who has since developed into one of the NFL’s best guards while earning his first trip to the Pro Bowl following the 2008 season.

From 1998-2009, Hickey worked as a college scout for the Buccaneers, during which time he oversaw all scouting efforts in the Midwestern states for the team. Hickey was a member of the Buccaneers first Super Bowl championship in 2002, a 48-21 victory against Oakland in Super Bowl XXXVII.

Before assuming his role as a scout for Tampa Bay, Hickey spent the 1996-97 seasons as a pro personnel assistant in Tampa Bay’s scouting department. Prior to joining the Buccaneers, Hickey spent two years (1994-95) as an assistant coach at Blinn Junior College in Brenham, Texas. At Blinn, he coached the defensive backs and was responsible for recruiting in the state of Texas.

Hickey played collegiately at Coffeyville Community College and was a three-year starter and captain at the University of Tulsa, where he was also named an academic All-American. He received his bachelor’s degree from Tulsa in 1994.

He and his wife, Stephanie, have one daughter, Breanna, and one son, Barrett. They live in Tampa.


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So Tampa (who is worse off than Miami) needs a GM, they dont even interview a guy who has been with them 20 years... Get the guy the dolphins wanted offering less money and less power. Then dump their old baggage on us!!!

Brilliant!! Ross must go!!

Wow!! Im torn still happy Ireland is gone but not happy no one wanted the job but the guy who has been waiting for 20 years.

Posted by: TruthhurTs | January 26, 2014 at 11:30 AM

thank god TRUTH is here with all his remarkable talents and abilities.

Not!! that's what my daughter in 3rd grade said to me one day. Only she is cute little kid, what's your excuse for acting like a 3rd grader TRUTH

Dennis, let's hear how thrilled you are with the opportunity, the respect you have for Stephen Ross and the process, the great meeting you had with Joe Philbin, how excited both of you are to turn the Dolphins into a world-class franchise.

And then tell us about the unicorn you saw on the ride up from Pandora leading Santa Claus with his bag full of toys for Peter Pan and his band of misfits.


Your points are valid......

your post well taken....

I don't disagree with MOST if not all of what you typed....

but if its OK with you.....I'll continue to have my own opinion on things.....

regardless of how dumb or asinine you might believe them to be....



ESPN is announcing Hickey but they're saying that their source is from the Miami Herald!

Got to hear it from another source before I firmly believe!

Adam Schefter reporting Lake Dawson turned down offer and it went to Hickey afterwards.

nobody said the Bucs were a great team but they've had more winning seasons that we have in the recent past, and alot more success in the few years prior to that…..we have no idea how the Bucs draft room/process really went--Freeman was a disappointment, which obviously contributed big time to their recent poor records (they're not the only team to miss on a QB)……its hard to contribute less than our draft classes in recent years, and thats a fact

"Wow- way to copy literally all of this information from Tampa Bay's website on Dennis Hickey - and not give a link or credit."

I was thinking the same thing.

Posted by: Michael | January 26, 2014 at 11:26 AM
It's part of his resume genius!!

Welcome to the most dysfunctional organization in the NFL that you will have no power to make a decision and will be run by a Dawn and a head coach who you cant fire

Some people warned that if Ireland was fired that there was always the chance someone worse would replace him. That has sadly come true. There were LOTS of elite GM prospects available but the structure and personnel in place scared them off.

Tampa Bay last won a playoff game in 2003 - the SuperBowl. Eleven years.

This is a disaster that is going to happen.

He has not even been introduced yet and fans are throwing him under the bus. He was not the GM in Tampa. He did not have anything to do with hiring Schiano. He did not have final say on drafting Freeman. Tampa hired a new GM and head coach. If Hickey was with the Bucs for eighteen years,he must know talent? Although it is hard to believe that he would take a job with a worse owner and worse coach than he had to deal with in Tampa. Just sayin

John....and Schefter's source is ????

hollywood-Rick Hickey has had his current role with the Buc's for 2 years before that he was a top level scout. He wasnt a factor in those so called good drafts.

Agreed Brickhouse. And all these Miami "fans" who talk about finding a new team - dont let the door hit you in the arse.

As Benz stated, our drafts cant be worse than they have been for years. I for one am glad it wasnt Gaine as it was a no win situation with him. Best of luck to Hickey. Hopefully he can do a good job.

Has anyone ever heard of one mans crap is another mans gold ? Dennis Hickey has a 50/50 shot of being a great general manager just like any other candidate would have been & the only reason he didn't get a interview in Tampa is because Lovie Smith wanted to hire his own GM that he's more familiar with. You people need to take a chill pill & give this guy the benefit of doubt before declaring him a loser. Another words GROW THE HELL UP PEOPLE !

If the Fins hired GOD as their new GM folks here would still be complaining, before he makes his first decision. After all, an 8-8 record is proof Miami is the worst franchise and worthy of banishment to London, in some fans eyes. Fans on these pages are more negative than those in Cleveland or Detroit, two cities that haven't sniffed a Super Bowl. I wonder if the ever negative media types like Salguero are the reason.

Damn I would have been the gym for free

Hyde from the Sun-Sentennal just confirmed it. He also said that Dawson turned down the offer!

The Dolphins won a playoff game 14 years ago. The Bucs won a playoff game 11 years ago. Both teams are disasters.

It's going down in 2014. 4-12 and Hickey/Philbin will NOT be fired. They will get another year after 2014.

As long as Ross is the owner, the team will lose.

That is true signal, these aren't the greatest times but you know that can change quickly. Last night the SS was slow on the Caserio thing too.

No intelligent GM wants his career to be tied to TannePuke...or Philbin



Daryl D....

Germany is going well....We move into our house tomorrow....and then My brother will be in Germany for about 2 months due to his job (contractor) starting on FEB 1. So things are falling into place after a LONG transition period....

Baby #2 due in about 3 weeks....and then alot a travel (country hoping) about 6 months after that.....and some local travel(germany based) before....(hopefully).....

The best laid plans....

You sure, Armando?

Armando apparently scooped the Sun-Sentinel because there isn't any word about the hiring there. Or everyone has taken the day off!
Posted by: signal | January 26, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Armando is the best. Timely and GREAT INSIGHT!

most here begged for Ireland to get fired (for 2-3 years)……many here did not want Gaine as the new GM, because of current team/Ireland ties…..you got your wish on both counts…..we have no idea if Hickey (or Dawson, or Cesario, etc) will/wouldve been good GMs (lets face it, we dont)--have no idea about Hickey, same as everybody here…..but I do know you couldnt get much less from our recent draft classes, thats all--hard to refute

Hopefully, now that someone has been hired, the tents can be folded up and the circus can leave town. Maybe the 18 years as scout taught him to understand immediate impact players and those who are worth investing in.

We'll we got the talent evaluator that aponte wanted. Now she runs the show. Pretty soon we will have our 2 most "powerful" figures (hc and gm) reading her index card. I mean that tells you everything right there.

How many of you can Imagen the great shula, Lombardi, Landry and so on reading what they need to say to the public in index cards written by a capologist

Something does not add up here, I think we can start calling dawn s husband "el venao"

Ross you old fool, you are being played, waking up..either that or you simply are a jets fan with an agenda to destroy our dolphins...it is hard to Imagen such a successful biz man making such idiotic decisions...don't take it from me, take it from the 10 candidates that have walked way from you, hc, gm, qb...heck anybody

The fact that tb did not even consider this guy for his own gm position after 18 years says a lot

Very difficult times dolphin nation

Kris, from your perspective, what's more dysfunctional: Germany right after WWII or the Miami Dolphins franchise?

Lots of negative posts regarding this hire......And here's another one!!! Worst Hire Ever! Period.

"I wonder if the ever negative media types like Salguero are the reason."

Count Mahdrof,

It is quotes like this that make me think that the 'aqua color glasses' fans on this blog are actually Dolphin employees trying to push back against negative reporting and/or comments.

Salguero does not hire, draft or coach the Dolphins. He reports. The fact that the Dolphins have a horrid reputation and a bad team is not his or the fans fault.

This team was a complete and total disgrace in 2013. There was the subpar free agent signings, the joke of a draft (with five premium picks), the horrid OL, the disgraceful scandal, the clueless coaching and the collapse. Then they messed up the offseason with the teams structure and soap opera GM search.

A LOT of GM candidates turned down the job or refused to interview or re-interview. That is all on Stephan Ross.

Armando also has great connections high up the team.

No clue if this guy will be any good or not. He gets a clean slate to make his mark. Here's hoping it all work out.

The disconcerting part is that he wasn't the first choice or even the second.....sounds like Philbin, no?


I got to go with the FINS.....

Man are we a far cry from those BIG NAME hire we used to get 6 or 8 years ago....

Hickey was the 8th choice.

Signal his source whatever people he talks to or the contacts he has which you don't chistle chest. Dawson released a statement and WQAM is reading his statement he turned it down.

NFL reports that the high school personnel scout for Broward Community College also turn down an offer by the team to become the next GM, but he and Hickey were neck and neck so the team doesn't feel it's been hurt by the process, they got the guy they were ULTIMATELY targeting.

Listen, when you are a CHEAP SOB like Ross you arent going to get top guys, period.

According to La Canfora, Lake Dawson also turned them down and then they offered the job to Hickey.

Not good.

This hire appears of a talent evaluator appears to be the best bet we had. Long experience and he was not even interviewed by Tampa for GM. Most all other our interviewees probably brought in demands in excess of just being a talent evaluator. But this guy could grow from there. Or he might not.

Where does that leave Gaine? He was passed over by "anyone with a pulse." Really tells you what the owner thinks of you doesn't it? I wouldn't want to work in an organization that obviously has such little respect for my work."

Don't worry, Hickey will have second thoughts and back out of the job tomorrow after a jealous Gaine tries to bully him Incognito-style.

Let's see...having to work with two people who teamed up to oust your predecessor, with an assistant pissed as hell he was passed over for you. Seems like the perfect dream job to me!!!

Ross is the problem. Boycott until he sells.

Hickey will draft and sign players subject to approval of DawnJoe. He's never been a GM and was selected after everyone else (except, perhaps, Gaines) turned it down.

The Bucs are nearly as bad as the Dolphins in both record and personnel over the past 11 years.

This is NOT a blueprint for success. It is a roadmap to failure.

Pretty much the last choice left. But Darryl is right, Bucs do have some talent. It's just Schiano was just as bad as Philbin.

as bad as I feel, I agree that we should at least welcome this guy. Hope for the best and expect the worst. This philosophy has been working for 20 plus years now

What a collection of losers all on the same franchise! YIKES!

If I'm Gaines, I'm leaving.

Crap @ 11:53 (2nd one)....

we still have to wait for for BULLY-GATE to come out......it will get WORSE before it gets better.....

and with the mood around the league regarding the FINS....I wouldn't be expecting any Mercy from the commission....

If I'm Ross, I'm leaving. haha

I absolutely agree, we should ALL welcome Hickey to a continued year of mediocrity so we can fire him, Philbin, Aponte and anyone else currently in the FO and start from scratch once again.

Mando's Manchurian Post below is the best.... Read it & weep.
After news that Dawson turned 'EM Down too how do they introduce the last choive with avstr8t face?!

Same as with Lazor. He said it himself, I'm in with this along with Philbin. Who know what the Future will bring????

Deity comes in many names bashing Armando, give it a rest already. We know who u are and what your doing. If you put all that hate into something positive along with your intelligence you might come up with a cure for cancer. Your a smart guy but the constant bashing is really pathetic

Same as with Lazor. He said it himself, I'm in with this along with Philbin. Who know what the Future will bring????
Posted by: oscar canosa | January 26, 2014 at 11:57 AM

I know. And it isnt pretty.

Why would Tampa let this guy go if he was such a stud? Hickey Dickey may have been in the building when the aforementioned players were drafted but Ill bet the mortgage he had nothing to do with their draft. Why did Tampa hire a new GM from outside the organization and not give Hickey Dickey the job? Something stinks and I think its Ross.

The day the Dolphins died;I'm a Raven fan now,maybe I'll come down and watch us kick your butt some time,oh wait that would mean giving Ross some of my hard earned money no thanks.Tough day never thought I'd leave the dolphins,been a true fan since 1982.I live in Virginia and have been to several games in Washington,Baltimore and Miami just can't support Ross anymore,his Personality has filtered through the organization like a poison and the Dolphins are now Ross.His ears are the uniform,his indecision are the management rookies doing jobs for the first time,his repeated absences are the childlike alliances his children Phil and Dawn create and his lack of football knowledge are the players that are producers when he acquires them,underperform while in Miami and become pro bowlers the year after they leave.

Here's all you need to know about Hickey. He was just an area scout when the Bucs were good, and as soon as he started getting promoted they went bad. I cannot make this up.

I'll bet you Bellichick is making Gaines an offer as we speak, not to glom info but to just simply humor himself

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