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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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PFT now reporting that Gaine is leaving. I would too in his situation. And I'd do it with a smile on my face :-D

Yawn. What? Oh, wake me back up when we make the playoffs. It’s ok, I’m ready for a long nap. Back to nice dreams of 1973.

Hickey is a qualified talent evaluator who should help the Dolphins recover from the bad Ireland years of control. Good move!
Posted by: promichael | January 26, 2014 at 11:32 AM

What is this poppycock opinion based on? Certainly not results. His own team in desperate need of talent didn't even want him.

the unfortunate thing about Gaines is he's better off having a 6 year space on his resume then admitting to being under Ireland and Ross

Ross is the one to blame for all of this mess.

If the Dolphin win in 2014, it will be pure total luck. And it will mean that Tannehill probably lived up to his draft status.

But there is no indication that the Dolphins have the front office, coaches or players to win in 2014.

The Ross years have been one disaster after another.

Heads should have rolled during the Cogs scandal.

Heads should have rolled the night of the Jets loss.

Instead it has been a demented circus of errors and farce for a month. That kind of incompetence is difficult to achieve.

Wonderful Armando . Reading this sounded a little too glowing and a little too detailed. After a few sentences, You cut and pasted the Bucs media guide page on this guy . Here it is...
Way to be useless.


Great.... We get turned down by everybody except a Bucs lifer that couldn't get promoted by his own team.

I hope this is rock bottom, but my gut tells me it isn't.

WhoTH is Gaines? I didn't even know he existed until this off-season.

What an ego boost for Gaine.

Let's face it, the Miami Dolphin fans have nothing to be proud of beyond ancient history that nobody cares about any more.

Saying your a fin fan is like saying you are a fan of losers.

Belichick did recognize Brian Daboll and gave him a position on the Team, but not as OC.

Done!!!! Let's move on!!!!

Well there's a resume for ya!! Well obviously the best they could
Do based on what Ross has done and is offering. Ross owns this mess now. No more complaining about Ireland, Parcells, Wayne H. Etc.... Thanks Peterson now you can ride off and view from afar.

My bet is they'll use this as a way to transition aponte to GM some day as Ross wants to be the one to. Real the gender so he can gain back some political capital with the league. How's that for a conspirecy theory?

I guess it's time to resolve to the fact that we are just so bad that we can't attract the best candidates. The nice Miami weather just isn't enough anymore. The only way we can get back to respectability is to accept who we have to work with and do the best we can with what we have. Complaining about it will just guarantee that Miami will remain mostly horrible and peak at mediocrity at times. Unless we take the mediocre leaders we have and somehow find a way to help them grow into better candidates. Unfortunately if they are in powerful positions, they tend to become rigid in their approach which leads to predictable offenses and eventually heartless defenses.

The NFL is in an age when the Offense needs to redefine itself every few weeks. Hopefully our new young OC will bring some of that. And the experience of Hickey can at least do a marginally better job than Ireland. And hopefully Philbin doesn't allow predictable offenses to stagnate. That was Sporano's downfall. If you aren't sure the players can handle the risky plays, let them try anyway. Because you know you aren't going anywhere by running the same plays in the same order over and over wiht the same cadence and the same receivers on the same side. For Pete's sake, let RT roll out and run the ball a bit more often. He's got the athleticism to be almost as good as Colin Kaepernick in that area of the game. Get a back that can pass and play the flicker, or Wildcat with the option to actually pass to the QB... an ex-receiver!. That was the only downfall of the wildcat when Sporano ran it, and that is sooo fixable with a QB who can block and catch!

Forget about the GM, the HC, the DC, the OC and the entire draft. Forget about it. There is no hope with Ross as the owner. He is beyond incompetent.

Next year, Hickey will be the leftover retained employee as the Phins search for a new coach.

"Done!!!! Let's move on!!!!

Posted by: Greg"

Yes, let's move on from the Dolphins until there is a new owner.

We can enjoy the train wreck from afar.

Hickey was the next to last choice. Only Gaines was lower. It's better to be a water boy for the Seahawks than a GM for the Dolphins.

Promicheal, you are correct and have the right attitude. I will attempt, once more, to turn my attitude around.

The issue for me, and many fans like me, is that I was 7 when I watched the fins first playoff game in franchise history (lost 21-14 to the Raiders in the 1970 divisional round). Then I was rewarded for my fanhood with 3 consecutive SB appearances. An ugly loss to the Cowboys followed by 2 Rings, including the Perfect Season. I was a very spoiled Miami fan and too young to realize what a phenomenal thing I had observed. i thought the fins would always be in the Superbowl...that was over 40 years ago.

I feel duped. Anyway, I get a thick dose of it every year around superbowl time when the NFL network runs all of the old SB highlights. The last time the fins won a superbowl, bell bottoms and lamb chop sideburns were in, peace signs, vietnam, etc. Kiick & Csonka were nicknamed Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid after a 1969 Film starring Newman & Redford.

Getting the picture?

It's funny, I realize, in a pathetic way.

Of course, Everybody knows we are going nowhere in 2014. All these moves are designed for 2015 and beyond. Besides, we still have the Ted Well report to come out. Some Players and Coaches from last Season might go to jail or be suspended, some for life. We'll see.

Here is what could happen but in fairness might not. No offense to Hickey but until Philbin, Aponte and Ross leave this team (ideally together) its not impossible.

Tampa will have a winning record in 2014 and maybe sniff a WC spot. They will draft a new QB, etc and be a model team for the NFL. The coaches, GM and players will be happy as peas in a pod.

Miami will finish with a losing record and a teary eyed Ross will have to fire Philbin by game 10. The team will be a dysfunctional mess with players pointing the finger at each other, key FAs will bail and no decent FA will come to Miami without being over paid (even worse than Wallace). Hicky may get fired as well because he was always just a human bookmark for the complete rebuild that must come.

In the interim Hickey will have a decent draft but nothing notable. Aponte will turn her back on Philbin like she did on Ireland. Once she realizes that she cannot write anything for Philbin to say (after the game to his team) that can pretty up this turd pile. She likes getting paid more than she likes Philbin.

Lemons into lemonade epilogue:

Ross has to fire everybody in a year and then begs Tony Dungy to become President/CEO of the Fins with all hiring/firing decisions & no one reporting to Ross. Dungy rebuilds the entire Org & Rosters with the help of Marino et al (class comes back). He hires one of Cowher or Jon Gruden as the HC along (or similar named guy) and a more experienced GM to remake this franchise. GM first then they pick HC together with Dungy having final say. They draft Winston in 2015 bc they will be that bad in 2014. Jags give them a scare by losing 10 in a row but the Fins prevail and are worse.

....fantasy over...

Ross is the worst owner in the NFL bar none. Hell Ross is one of the worst and most incompetent owners in professional sports.

Watching the Fins is like watching car wrecks at the same blind turn wondering when the a mayor figures out they need to fix the blind turn to spot the same accident from occurring. Its painful and people are needlessly hurt.

"Complaining about it will just guarantee that Miami will remain mostly horrible and peak at mediocrity at times."

Complaining about Brady means he will be horrible and eak at mediocrity at times too? Surely, I've misread.

Complaining about the Dolphins is NOT what makes them a losing team for the past 15 years.

Expect Ross to give Philbin an extension in the next few weeks for acomplishing nothing.

Hickey does have a track record of being a talent evaluator. One can not say how much influence he had working for the organization. The main thing is that no one could be worse than acorn Ireland and the stink he left. Clearly the Dolphins did not want to hire Gaine fearing the 'new GM same as the old GM' If Gaine now leaves, so be it. The Parcells/Ireland stink would be gone completely. After Parcell/Ireland/Sparano, Hickey/Aponte/Philbin/Lazor should be considered an upgrade.

Hickey named Czar! - Dawn, I'm not happy with your work. You are fired. A possible scenario in the not too distant Future.

Another future scenario, - Dennis, I'm not happy with your work. - Why, Dawn? - Sorry, you're fired.

Ross needs to hire someone reputable to oversee this franchise....and all of the clowns need to report to that man....Ross can keep his ass in ny and just come down on game day. The only way this franchise restores it's dignity is with a hire of that caliber....Tony Dungy, Bill Cowher, Jimmie Johnson, maybe they don't want to coach but they can review the report cards and make the final calls, sit in the press box and look important....or maybe the fins shock the world this year, turn out an amazing FA class, draft and our new Lazor offense explodes for 45 a game....cautiously holding my breath.

Of course, Everybody knows we are going nowhere in 2014

Posted by: oscar canosa | January 26, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Not going anywhere anyway with 4/5 of a O-line to replace. Not to mention Philbin masquerading as a head coach

Stay classy Miami!

Only fools and media influenced gossip queens would put the blame on Dawn. She is the only competent employee in the whole franchise.

When have six GM candidates declined a single team in two weeks? Never.

Hickey was the next to last choice. Only Gaines was lower. It's better to be a water boy for the Seahawks than a GM for the Dolphins.
Posted by: Sigh | January 26, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Sigh raises an interesting question, though its moot now... was Gaine really lower than Hickey? Or was Ross just too scared to promote him, expecting more backlash?

Per my prior blog post,

Hickey needs to be given the assurance that the HC answers to him and that he can fire him for underperforming in 2014.

They def didn't give any power to hickey over philbin. Exact same reason nobody elsewould take job .

Griese GM
Mike Shula HC
Marino OC

Boulder dash we will go 7-9 and they will all keep their jobs huh

Memo to Hickey...no matter what happens don't read this blog. Some here are going to ridicule and second guess everything you do mercilessly and endlessly until the day you leave this job both professionally and personally. Hope you have very thick skin.

But in case you do happen to come by and check it out...Here's a little preview of what to expect from fan base of half fans, pretend fans and trolls. During FA you'll be expected to resign every player of our own at any cost. You will encouraged to sign the most expensive players and receive criticism of how they perform regardless of how they are coached and the cost. During the draft you'll be told to move up at any cost and they'll hate your draft no matter if the coaches won't play your players. Every player that turns out to be good before or after the Phins pick you will be told you should have drafted them. You will also hear how bad you suck on daily basis. These fans know better cause they watch football and play Madden. Trust me when I tell you they value their opinions more than any facts and what the experts say. Hope this helps.

Another article states that Gaine will most likely leave.

That would be the end of the Parcells era in Miami.

Thank you.

you know what, I'm not going to rip this guy...looks like he's been part of some decent draft picks, especially on the defensive side and with his OL.

this falls on Ross and the way things have looked for months now....it's a joke, begins with the way things shook up with that pathetic coaching staff who couldn't win ONE game against two poor teams. Sherman and Ireland were the scape goats.

I hope they go 4-12, and blow this whole damn thing up and start from scratch where the GM hires the coach!

They're creepy and they're kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They're all together ooky,
The Dolphins Family.

Their house is a museum
Where people come to see 'em
They really are a scream
The Dolphins Family.


So, this guy was what, Miami's 5th choice? Farmer turned us down, Dawsey turned us down, Caserio turned us down, the guy from Arizona turned us down, and plenty of people from other franchises turned down the chance to even interview.

How is this guy any more qualified than Gaine? Not that I would have liked that hire either, but you could at least take some lemons from that hire and make lemonade.

This hire is reeks of desperation. Miami flirted all night with fit, attractive women is tight dresses but ended up taking home the over weight chick with too much make up who's drunk and will screw anyone at this point.

This is IMO as low a point as 1-15. At least Miami had Huzienga back then who pretty much always got the man he wanted for the job, even if it wasn't always the right guy.

Ross is an embarrassment to South Florida.

then again, who are we kidding, they go 4-12, Ross will probably give them all a raise.....

looking more and more like a Jerry Jones, Al Davis owner...not impressed

Truth - None of of us have a clue how this will work out. Hickey not getting an interview for the Tampa slot is not a shock. They also wanted "change" and the Tampa fans would have gone nuts if they hired from within. At least Tampa didn't pretend that he had a shot. The Fins interviewed Gaines and I can't imagine it was anything other than a courtesy based on how things played out. He's been around long enough for them to know what he is capable of. Seems like Hickey at least had a role in some good drafts, he didn't make the calls on coaches or coach any of the players. The lack of success in Tampa surely cannot be laid at the feet of the Director of P/P. Remember, the Browns didn't think Belichick was worth hanging onto and now some think he's the greatest coach in NFL history (those that didn't see Shula's teams). Ireland clearly was not the answer, hopefully Hickey is.

Hickey is now a yes man for aponte and failbin.How does it feel knowing that you were their 8th choice for GM? The bucs didn't even interview him for their vacant position after 18 yrs with the team..Red Flags? Embarrassing as usual.

TruthhurTs, You couldn't have said it better !!!!!!!

Well it makes sense.....

If you suck long enough you get a Hickey!


Ross give Aponte a Hickey.

That's the only funny thing about this.

Oh yeah, I forgot- Miami is such a wonderful franchise, and GM openings are few, and any candidate would jump at our GM offer.


And none of this is humiliating?




awesome 'Millions':)

Hopefully he works out. Hard to draft worse than Ireland, so there's at least a low bar of expectations to meet. Only 8 short months to see how all these chages translate to on field success. If they don't then I suspect this time next year we'll be welcoming the next coach and GM, and maybe if we're lucky they'll be one of our top 10 choices.

We will be the Bucs or Browns for years to come.

Looks like Hickey can find O-Line men. That's just what the doctor ordered. A decent O-Line and this was a playoff team. I don't care if he was our tenth pick to be GM as l;ong as he can put a decent O-Line together......... Something Parcells,Ireland and Gaine could never do !!!!

Been fan since 1969.
This is the lowest... lower than Cam, Harbaugh debacle, Dez, Cogs/JM, Wanny ruining Ricky, begging coaches who want to leave to stay, Jets/Bills collapses this yr, reluctance to fire Sherman & failure fire Turner.

Keeping Failbin is the last fly in this particular ointment,& I'VE Supported Ross until today, BUT WE GOT TO PRAY HE SELLS BEFORE GOODELL GIVES HIM LA WINDFALL!

Just read an Adam Schefter tweet that said Dawson was offered the job and turned it down as well.

The ONLY winner in all of this is Jeff Ireland, who gets to walk away from this toxic cesspool with seven figures and his head held high.

Oh, the Patriots are winners too.

You don't win. I don't win. The Dolphins don't win.

We stink.

Welcome to perpetual mediocrity.

TruthhurTs, You couldn't have said it better !!!!!!!

Posted by: BRICKHOUSE | January 26, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Deity is congratulating himself now, your pethetic

Hickey was part of the old regime that was fired.
The new regime wants their own GM and not a remnant of the previous regime. Hickey saw the writing on the wall and moved on. He had nothing to do with the hiring of Schiano who everyone blames for the Bucs problems. Many expect them to make the playoffs in 2014 with a NEW QB.

Gaine was a part of the old regime that was fired. There wasn't any new regime coming in that was bringing in their own people so he thought he had good chance at the GM job. He should have interviewed elsewhere. The Phins have had more misses than hits with their player personnel decisions. He didn't see the writing on the wall. Now he's expected to leave (he should because Hickey will find a reason to fire him).

Lazor upgrade. Dufner upgrade. Hicky upgrade. If someone told you that these positions would be upgraded after the season most people would have been happy.

hickey fire who?? he has no control to fire anyone

It is going to take at least a month before Hickey starts to leave his mark on the Fins.

Priority #1 is resigning Grimes.

Free Agency is just around the corner.


give the mando bashing a rest you pathetic dusche. Ross is the joke, mando's just letting everyone know.

"The Dolphins hired Hickey after offering the job to Patriots executive Nick Caserio and Titans vice president Lake Dawson, who both turned down the opportunity, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter."


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