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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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those arent hard dec, its quite obvious the only ones u keep are soliai and grimes. grimes will be franchised

Ed in English please


Our dinner last night was magical. So elegant and romantic.

Posted by: Orlando Dolphan | January 26, 2014 at 01:15 PM

You mentioned three top celebrity people in Jimmy Johnson, Nick Saban and Bill Parcells. All left the Dolphins after taking the money. They left leaving the team without doing the job they were hired to do. Sometimes when one becomes a celebrity with all the power they do things that are counter productive. That's exactly what Johnson, Saban and Parcells did in their roles with Miami. So Ross now goes with people who want the job who are qualified. Lazor and Hickey. We will see next season if Philbin is qualified......if not he is gone. Aponte is out of the conversation because she is doing her job as the cap administrator.

Hickey was the least covered of the three finalists and considered a long shot initially. In fact, ESPN's Adam Schefter noted that Hickey only landed the job after both Caserio and Dawson turned down offers for it. Pittsburgh Steelers director of football administration Omar Khan and Hickey were left as the only two viable candidates for the position

Tampa Bay went just 4-12 this past season..

There are plenty of questions about Hickey's viability. He was not only down on the list of Miami's own internal evaluations of candidates, but as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes, the Buccaneers also gave him no consideration for their own general manager opening.

This is just like being at the club and you are trying to kick it with the most banging chick up in there and you end up leaving with the 300 pound heffer!

WET FART LOVER, I have read Mando's blog for years to get info on my favorite team. It gets old seeing the negativity and constant criticism he has perpetuated through this blog because he has an ax to grind.

Mr. Hickey,

I provide with the following advice...

1. Keep your new Dolphin friends close, but your Dolphin enemies closer.

2. Have your office tested for electronic listening devices every morning and every evening.

3. Be sure to privately and under cover of night have the locks to your offices changed.

4. Use your own personal cell phone, preferrably a daily disposable one.

5. Use your own, encrypted laptop or tablet. Do not use the ones provides by the facility.

6. Dont use the word "fire" in the same sentence with Aponte and/or Philbin under any circumstance what so ever.

7. An oldie but goodie...there are two letters in your top right hand desk drawer. When things start going bad open the first letter which says, "blame you predecessor." When it really starts going bad open the second letter which says, "you are all abunch of no talent ass clowns." That should be enough to get you fired so you can walk with a seven figure check.

On a serious note...good luck

Ahhhh, the Herald Boys.


The entire NFL is in awe of this great hire!

Ireland was a good GM but most failed to recognize that. Ireland brought some good players here and found talent in the draft. The biggest problem with this team is Ross. Ireland should have been allowed to pick McCoy as the HC but instead got overruled by Ross who wanted Philbin. Ireland wanted to hire a HC who would align with the players that he had picked so far. Instead Philbin comes in and changes the style of play of the whole team. You cannot go from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 defense, from a power blocking scheme to a finesse blocking team and from a big team to a speed team without some collateral damage. Long, Jerry, and Incognito did not fit Philbin's zone blocking scheme. Soliai, Reshad Jones, Dansby, and Burnett did not fit Philbin's defense. Ireland had to deal with that damage and find players to fit Phibin's scheme. And even with all that the team had enough talent to be in position to make the playoffs on the last game of the season.

Ireland should not have been allowed to resign. Ireland himself (like the candidates that rejected the position) did not want to accept the new structure. That is 7 potential GM candidates (if you include Ireland) that did not want to work as a GM with that structure. Ireland walked away and the others rejected a promotion. Doesn't that tell everyone something is wrong with this organization.

There’s still a ton of upside and talent with Wallace, though, and we’ve seen the Dolphins trade big-name wide receivers early in their contracts before with Brandon Marshall. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dolphins look to unload Wallace in the interest of getting either early picks in the 2014 draft or of getting depth at other positions of need like on the offensive line or at running back..

I am not sure how Dennis Hickey will work out, but I do agree that he has a 50/50 shot of being a good GM & leading us back to success. He wasn't my first choice (Nick Cesario was) but he was my 2nd choice over Ray Farmer, Brian Gaine, Lake Dawson, Ohmar Khan & Brian Xanders. What Miami needs more than anything is a person that is good at picking real talented players & you can see by the names that he has brought in that he has a good eye for talent. I don’t know why all these fools continue to rant & hate on everything this team does, but I am a loyal Dolphins fan & all we can do now is keep our fingers crossed that he picks good players & we make it back into the playoffs next year. Now granted the way this front office structure is led to all these candidates dropping from consideration & it was embarrassing, but in the end we may still have a much better GM than Jeff Ireland ever was & he still may lead us back into Super Bowls again. You can look at it any way you want, but in the end it will either succeed or fail & Stephen Ross will learn from it & get it right the next time. After all Stephen Ross does want to win as bad as ANY other owner & all these things he's learning about now will be invaluable if things don't work out next year. I am positive that Dennis Hickey, Joe Philbin & the entire management of this team will be on a short 1 or 2 year deliver OR COMPLETE CLEAN HOUSE will be in affect if it fails.

People that want the Job ? All of those that have come here have wanted the job and the cash.

I don't care if you really want the job, I care if you can do the job. JJ at least built a decent team that Wannstache took to the playoffs a couple of times. Now those days seem so far off.

rick no chance at 50-50 cause hes forced to keep horrible philbin


Could you get your hands on a copy of the Phins "Organizational Chart" and let fans know exactly who reports to who?

Also see if there's an "official" job description for the GM job that clearly states what his duties and responsibilities are.

It would be interesting to find out if the whole "lack of clarity" of the GM's job that the GM job candidates supposedly complained about was a bunch of crock.

Assuming the Phins Human Resources department has a written job description for every employee position, the questions about who answers to who and what power the GM position actually has (who he can fire or hire, final decision on players, etc.)would be as clear as day.


what exactly has there been to write about that has been positive?? I got an ax to gride too, this team sucks, and have sucked for years. I'm glad he's not candy coating this garbage they package as an NFL quality team.

You cannot go from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 defense, from a power blocking scheme to a finesse blocking team and from a big team to a speed team without some collateral damage.
Posted by: Orlando Dolphan | January 26, 2014 at 01:43 PM

New Orleans didi it, went from one of the worst to one of the best in one season.

So Ross now goes with people who want the job who are qualified. Lazor and Hickey. We will see next season if Philbin is qualified......if not he is gone. Aponte is out of the conversation because she is doing her job as the cap administrator.

Posted by: promichael | January 26, 2014 at 01:38 PM

Hickey is qualified? Please allow to laugh. If he is so qualified why didn't Tampa Bay interview him for the new GM job. They saw him for 18 years and did not even give him the token interview out of respect? They never considered him for the job in 18 years. In fact, no team has even seen this guy as a GM candidate. Has he ever interviewed for a GM position?

Stand by. This is going to be one of the worst seasons in Dolphins history.

I'm glad that dumb Italian turned them down. Never should have offered the job to one of those people, anyway. They are proven ignoramuses.

You hire an Italian to make ziti or clean your pool (but don't let them inside your house)..you do NOT hand them the keys to a football team!

http://espn.go.com/blog/miami-dolphins/post/_/id/4996/the-dolphins-must-look-in-the-mirror .

People here like Orlando state things categorically, Ireland was overturned by Ross in favor of Philbin over McCoy. Are you one of the Herald Boys, Orlando D?

If I didn't know any better, BRICKHOUSE was a jealous Omar Kelly. Because lets face it, Omar is a joke and absolutely unreadable. That's why there's only like 6 or 7 comments after all the garbage articles he recycles, haha

Failbin has emerged as the fly in the ointment. Ross keeps doing this bass-acwards. It's GM FIRST, then HC & assistants. Plus here Aponte further gums up the machine. DE FACTO, Failbin, who's a cue card WIMPY coach, has made it impossible to fire bad assistants.

The predictions come out in May. They nailed it last season. I'm expecting a lower number this season. We'll see.

Numbers don't lie.

Hickey is the seventh choice and will always knnow that is the case. He has gone for the increase in pay and the fact he doesn't have to relocate.

Hickey will have a job for a couple of years, even if the team follow his Bucs record of 35-59 as pro personnel director. To be honest it would have been better to give Philbin the GM job and just let the love for him pour out. Ross is head over heels in love with DawnJoe and really has them in charge of this team. Hickey with be doing the same job he did with the Bucs for more money.

Ireland has a better record with players than Hickey, much better so we have regressed yet again. Hickey could get lucky and pick a couple of players to make a difference. However what is the point when they are under coached and given no leadership under Philbin. The GM isn't a GM, he is director of Pro personnel, end of story.

who cares what tampa did orlando. what u dont get is it didnt matter who we hired cause they have no power anyways. and im def not gonna get upset if the bucs didnt want a guy that we did.

Vegas whatever the odds are for wins next year, I am taking the under. This team has no vision or direction which is what is needed the most to build a winner. This team is in complete disarray right now.


has anybody ever seem these two jamokes together??? hmmmm, I wonder, could they be the sa.......

@Hollywood-Rick....agree 100%

The only good thing that may turn out from this is that the dolphins could end up with the first over all pick in the draft in 2015 and that would mean that Jameis Winston will be wearing aqua and orange. If the fins then hire a Czar that can put it all together we could be good for a long time.

Unfortunately, that does not help us next year. Ross will be lucky to fill half the stadium. It is going to be a long 2014 folks.

Oh well, let's see what happens in FA and the draft.

Indeed dusty, indeed...

"There is something terribly wrong with the Miami Dolphins. Their process of finding someone -- anyone -- to become their next general manager should open some eyes with the organization that something internally must change.

"Interestingly, on paper, the Dolphins’ GM position should have been a quality opening.

"The Dolphins are not a rebuilding project. This is an 8-8 team with a promising young quarterback in Ryan Tannehill, four Pro Bowlers and solid cap room entering the offseason. A few good roster improvements here and there and Miami could be in playoff contention in 2014.

"But the internal workings and behind-the-scenes drama in Miami made its GM position significantly less attractive. The Dolphins must look in the mirror, re-examine themselves and figure out if this is the smartest way to do business moving forward."

Sorry folks. Philbin could have never been GM. He had already hired all his buddies as coaches. Where the heck was he going to find players?

who cares what tampa did orlando. what u dont get is it didnt matter who we hired cause they have no power anyways. and im def not gonna get upset if the bucs didnt want a guy that we did.

Posted by: dusty bottoms | January 26, 2014 at 01:54 PM

Of course we care about Hickeys Bucs resume, its all we have to go on. Xander was shown the door because he had concerns with Philbin and not being a GM in the true sense of the word. This position is Director of Pro Personnel, nothing more. Hickey's record is terrible.

orlando ive tried telling u this for years, good to see u finally came around

Posted by: J T SANDER | January 26, 2014 at 01:40 PM

That's pretty funny JT and like anything funny, it has a element of truth in it.

Orlando Dolphan--

Wheat balloons. Albanian refrigerators.


There aint nuthin positive about 6 consecutive losing seasons. Get a clue!

2014 = Suck for Luck 2

I'm hoping for only 1 win, that should get us the #1 overall. Hopefully there will be a top QB there waiting for us.

I'm starting to get excited already. Yeahhhhh, Suck for Luck 2 wooohooooo!!!!!!!

This hire i predict will be as big as me someday.

Will Hickey be allowed to bring in a FA QB to push Tannehill?


Will he pick a QB in the draft, if so in what round (many fans still don't believe Tannehill to be the answer)?

turned down what free agent qb would he bring in, lol, this should be good

Gaine will be gone because Hickey now has his job. The GM role is now a hybrid of DawnJoe, Petersen and hickey as the office clerk.

They got the only guy who already lived in Florida. None of the rest of them wanted to move to that outdoor sewer.

"Hickey isn't a blockbuster hire by any means, and the Bucs' lack of interest in considering him as their next GM raises questions.

"The biggest question surrounding the Dolphins, however, is why this job was so hard to fill in the first place. It certainly appears that the team's internal structure spooked some respected football people."

The only hope for next year is that Ireland's players come through. Guys like Jordan, Taylor, Thomas, Davis, Simms, and Jenkins have to step up in their second year.

I am hoping that Gaines is kept as assistant GM. Hickey needs to put a good team around him. If TH can come around in his third year under Lazor and some of the current players step up this team could be 3 OL and a couple of other pieces from being very good.

Marco have you always been afraid of girls? Or just those more successful than you?

orlando u just said 2-14,lol

@ Dusty : ANYTIME their is a change at the top weather it's the GM or the head coach IT IS ALWAYS A 50/50 proposition & your thoughts on Joe Philbin is just your opinion which I disagree with.

This hire I predict will be as big as me someday.

Hickey will be showing some coj@#es if he tries to make the QB job an open competition.

He'd shock the monkey if he were to trade up and gets one of the top two and manges to trade Tannehill (the old regime's flame) for multiple draft picks.

maybe 50-50 in a normal setting. nothing normal about this disaster of a franchise.

(many fans still don't believe Tannehill to be the answer)?

Posted by: Turned Down | January 26, 2014 at 02:04 PM


Many fans also went ballistic when the team didn't draft Brady Quinn---who is obviously headed to the Hall of Fame.

Things are bad enough as is. Let's not add to it by having the team listen to the "advice" of the dumbest fans in the NFL.

Posted by: hollywood-Rick | January 26, 2014 at 01:43 PM

Where is the leader of this team ? There is no-one including the players. All the strong characters are gone, they are seen as trouble makers. Balls have been replaced by nice guys, being honest office workers, politely losing and trailing the rest of the division.

Wth was that Armando? You didn't write anything! All you did was lift the media guide bio.

It's fitting that a minor league operation gets a junior high school gratification by hiring Hickey!

It makes you wonder why the hell we even bother with this God foresaken team?

Huizenga was a genius compared to Ross. It took Ross exactly three seasons to turn the Dolphins into the NYJ South. Pathetic and nauseating.

New blog up.

No clue about hickey. However if he is Ross's last choice he may actually be a winner!

So Caserio and Dawson both turn down the job and the only fresh warm body left standing is Dennis Hickey? What a debacle...No other words. But now that they finally have a GM we need to rally behind him and hope that he drafts some players. Things change quickly in the NFL, so let's hope this guy can draft. The way the team has handled this hiring has been a disaster though

Posted by: Mando's Cue Card | January 26, 2014 at 02:06 PM

That all makes perfect common sense, but BRICKHOUSE says it's all Armando's fault why the Dolphins suck

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