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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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Jessica Simpson do we have a spot open for her,,,,,,,let me see

Posted by: Marc from nj | January 26, 2014 at 02:51 PM

Yeah, offensive line if it's the fat Jessica. My naked maid if it's the Dukes of Hazzard or otherwise pre-plump Jessica.

Posted by: tvegas | January 26, 2014 at 02:54 PM

He is a troll that doesn't believe what he is saying.

She was once part of that 70s pop group Tony Orlando and Dawn

I love it Jessica is now our offensive line coach she will fatten thos boys up

Any of you guys ever looked at the structure of a real estate company. You have a guy who finds the best properties. (Hickey) You have the financial person that manages the money (Aponte) and then you have the person who helps find the best investment property and turn it into something it had long ago.

Ross is doing this his way. The real estate way. Its not the suck up to best friends way. (NFL way) its the this is how I made my Billions and this is how I'm going to fix this mess way. Might be the right way might be the wrong way.

I for one cant understand why no one would take the job. You have an over loyal owner, crap he wanted to keep Ireland and bring in some talent evaluators. He spends money look at Brown in Cincy to compare. He beleives in what he is doing look at his Real Estate Empire. 12 Billion or something like that under management of some of the richest in the world.

We are not going to do this the NFL way. Maybe Ross is right, we are going to see because its his team. And Ross wanted to really go outside the box and make Aponte the first female G.M. Probably would have done it but for fear of not getting good proven talent evaluators to sit behind her stopped that.

My real problem with the whole mess is how much heat did Ireland take for decissions that the money lady could have stopped. Was her cap management style the reason we didn't fix the line last year. Was her cap style the reason why free agents avoided us like the plague over the last few years??

We just started another 3 to 5 year process. Anyone think one and done is very foolish. Philbin will get two years. As it probably should be, any coach should get some time to prove that he is the one in charge. The Dolphins just did that. Any player that does not understand that you play for Philbin or get shown the door is probably not a very smart business person. Philbin/Aponte control the cash and the future of the players. Hickey finds the players to replace the ones that dont want to perform. Very simple structure.

Go Dolphins!! Live with it or find another team...

I know Marco. Where do find these guys- or should I say, where do they find us?

I am still waiting to post his picks. I could use the extra pocket change he must be making.


It does not matter what this organization does. The same 5 trolls here will always be haters, band wagon fans, and generally crappy complaining morons. The comments here look to be from 10 year olds. I say that the Dolphins should also fire all you boneheads. Fins will do great this year.

It's asinine not assenine

Mr.Ross you are a freaking Idiot,,I cant believe that I say im a dolphin fan. Well no more. I will sell my tickets and never and I mean never will you get another Dollar from me or my family. Lets all boycott this crazy A@@ team and owner. You need to fire everyone on this tram from top to bottom and start over. I hate to say that but its officially time.. Good luck you freaken loozer..

Oprah will give pregame pep talks then at halftime she will include yup you guessed it DR. Phil

Man, you guys are right up there with Pauly Shore and Jeff Foxworthy in the "biting wit" department.

Jesus, don't give up the day jobs.

I love it Jessica is now our offensive line coach she will fatten thos boys up

Posted by: Marc from nj | January 26, 2014 at 02:59 PM


No, not coaching the O-line. O-linewoman.

This is just very funny stuff our team is a comedy how do you this tosh is liking our moves

Armando. You should do a pol on who will be buying Season tickets this YR,,

You guys should be happy you got what you wanted Ireland is gone.

Ding Dong the witch is dead...

Oh wait did we poor the water on the wrong witch///

Got to love the soap opera Nfl.

Tune in same time, same day Sep 2014.

Posted by: Kris (in Germany) | January 26, 2014 at 11:13 AM

LMAO. No comment. The amount of time it would take to debate the many shortsighted points in this post would take an entire day.

They are give the hockey player chicken soup on the bench at the Yankee stadium game today 8 degrees and snowing

Hickey > Ireland

The women's club of America will buy all the unsold tickets this year

Hickey = Ireland

Hickey will lead us to the SB.

All dolphins players must learn how to knit and sew prior to the season

No time for hockey. Watching our World Champion Miami Heat dismantle San Antonio right now.

All the sights I've read indicate this the Dolphins 8th choice, the Guy didn't even qualify for an interview with Tampa who he worked for 18yrs. what does that tell you. He was the only one who said yes. this is a pretty sad scenerio on this once proud organization that no one of value will take this job.The basic fact in all this remains that as long as Ross owns the team we will continue to be totally irrelevant, the best thing Ross can do for us is SELL

Wonder how long Gaine stays on board?

All the sights I've read

Posted by: Fan since 71 | January 26, 2014 at 03:09 PM


It's "sites."

A "sight" is the Grand Canyon or the Eiffel Tower, not an internet location.

I think Armando has a better eye for talent than Hickey.

Wonder how long Gaine stays on board?

Posted by: The Noble King Ethelwulf | January 26, 2014 at 03:10 PM


The reaction around the league? Mixed.

One plugged in source not associated either the Dolphins or Buccaneers gave it a thumbs up: "Hickey is actually really good."

Others, however, weren’t so kind.

A high-ranking personnel official from another team quipped: "Laughing to myself. ... Good luck Joe."

Another take from a respected talent evaluator: “Tampa is psyched. They were going to fire him anyway. Now they don't have to pay him.”

Most importantly, however, Hickey was willing to co-exist with Philbin and executive vice president Dawn Aponte in a unique power-sharing arrangement that scared off other top candidates.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/01/26/3894310/miami-dolphins-hire-tampa-bay.html#storylink=cpy


Not very inspiring but the last paragraph is the saddest part. Don't go out and interview the most talented. Best be damned. Hire someone who is willing, and maybe just desperate enough, to work under your "unique", f'd up structure.

Looks like to scumbags have arrived on this blog early tonight, time to fly.

Ireland is laughing right now!

We will win The Super Bowel.


That strategy is fine for real estate, but it doesn't work in the NFL.

Great blog

Ireland cant even get an interview lol

Great blog
Posted by: Said no one, ever | January 26, 2014 at 03:18 PM

Crap team = Crap blog

Didnt Marco say we signed Caserio? What a total MORON!! LOL

So....we hired our 8th guy in line?

Didnt Marco say we signed Caserio? What a total MORON!! LOL

Posted by: 3 WATT | January 26, 2014 at 03:24 PM

Yep, sure did.

Marco has less credibility than Dashi.

Hollywood P(rick) at 1:48 pm was just making sh*t up.

Pathetic how delusional some people can be.

Fabricating ideas to suit their agenda.

Ross should at least lower ticket prices and stop ripping off the fans.

Ross should at least lower ticket prices and stop ripping off the fans.

Posted by: Dink % | January 26, 2014 at 03:37 PM

He won't.

THAT IS WHY I am opportunistic about him.

Posted by: hollywood-Rick | January 26, 2014 at 02:41 PM

retards that try to sound intelligent often use words they don't know to meaning of or use out of context, HOLLYWOOD- (P)RICK is one of those retards

don't know the* meaning of



everybody does the same thing to me here as they did in High School, you guys suck, every bodies an idiot.

This hire makes a lot of sense. Hickey can commute from Tampa until he gets canned next year.

Maybe he can land with Jacksonville in '15.

I just come here for friends and every body is mean to me. I try to show my knowledge of football but no one seems too impressed with me, so I'm just going to start calling everyone names and stuff, wahhhh, wahhhhh

everybody does the same thing to me here as they did in High School, you guys suck, every bodies an idiot.

Posted by: Picked on Hater | January 26, 2014 at 03:51 PM

Jonathan Martin, is that you?

NO it's not,it's me- Cogs,Johnnie wasn't the only one that got hurt here you know

First things first ...get Jonathan Martin back. He tough and ready to go back to work doing all of Ms Aponte's chores.

Secondly...raise ticket prices now. Ross will need the extra money to pay off contracts when he ends up firing the entire front office and coaching staff at the end of the 2014 season.

Thirdly...start your GM hire for 2015 now. Might as well get ahead of the curve.

How is this possible?!! Even now when the right thing was to hire Gaine they somehow managed to bring a guy who was a dead man walking in Tampa!

And that was after they got snubbed again?!!! Can not make this stuff up. We are the laughing stock of the league everywhere today.

I have tried to remain positive but when reality sets in you KNOW this season will be an utter mess. As dysfunctional as this organization is, player's agents are licking their chops as I type this. I find it hard to believe good players are eager to come here unless for it is for a ransom. Money alone is NOT the best motivator, you'll see we will get players that only want a paycheck and no motivation for greatness. Then again did I just type greatness and the Dolphins in the same sentence? LOL.

Wow, I feel really sad for the Dolphins, and I'm a Carolina Panthers fan...

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