Dennis Hickey to Dolphins: Updates and Analysis After Official Hiring of GM

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 26, 2014

Updates From Thursday, Feb. 6

ESPN's James Walker reports that Hickey's deal is for more than two years:

 New Miami Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey's deal is for more than two years, a team source told on Tuesday. The source would not disclose the specific length of the contract. previously reported that Hickey signed a two-year contract with Miami, according to multiple sources. The typical contract length for new general managers is three to five years.

Updates from Tuesday, Feb. 4

James Walker of ESPN has an update on Dennis Hickey's contract with the Miami Dolphins:

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, has comment from the Dolphins, who deny ESPN's report:

Updates from Tuesday, Jan. 28

Owner Stephen Ross and new general manager Dennis Hickey spoke about the decision to join the Miami Dolphins at a press conference on Tuesday (via the Dolphins and Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald):


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The process wasn't easy, but the Miami Dolphins landed their next general manager, hiring Tampa Bay Buccaneers director of player personnel Dennis Hickey on Sunday, Jan. 26.   

The team made the announcement official on Twitter:

Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald first reported the news:

Owner Stephen Ross released a statement regarding the hire on the team website:

“I am excited that Dennis Hickey is our new General Manager,” Ross said. “When we started the search, I outlined qualities that I was looking for in this position. These included a collaborative team-first person who can work with Joe, demonstrated player evaluation expertise, and someone who is open-minded and creative. Dennis fit all of these criteria and I'm looking forward to having him get started.” 

Hickey was one of three candidates the Dolphins brought in for second interviews over the weekend. Per Andy Kent of the team's website, New England Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio and Tennessee Titans executive Lake Dawson were the other two. 

While Hickey was mentioned, he was the least covered of the three 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, FL -  NOVEMBER 17:  Cornerback Darrelle Revis #24, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy #93 and defensive end Adrian Clayborn #94 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers set for play against the Atlanta Falcons  November 17, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fl
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Hickey had previously been a stalwart in the Tampa Bay organization, having spent his 18th season with the club in 2013. Before moving up to his player personnel post, he was the Bucs' director of college scouting for six seasons. It's in that area where Hickey crafted his expertise, as he has helped play a part in shaping the team's young core.

Tampa Bay went just 4-12 this past season, but the team is widely believed to have underachieved respective to its talent. Hickey played a part in landing cornerback Darrelle Revis and safety Dashon Goldson, among others, each of whom helped the Bucs finish a solid eighth in Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA), per Football Outsiders

Still, 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:

Not only that, but Salguero is reporting that Hickey was in line to be fired before taking the Dolphins job:

Dolphins players are also reportedly unhappy with the situation, as Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald reports that they're looking to get out Miami:

It's also unclear how much control over the day-to-day operations Ross will give his new GM. After mostly ceding decisions to the now-departed Jeff Ireland, Ross made it clear earlier this month his new hire would have to work with coach Joe Philbin—not decide his fate, per Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald:

Regardless of reporting structure, the relationship between the general manager and Coach Philbin must be one of trust, respect, and collaboration, and this will be an area we will look closely at during the process. This individual also must be a person with integrity who is open-minded and creative.

Philbin led a still-developing Dolphins core that finished 8-8 in 2013, good for third place in the AFC East. Miami had a chance to make the postseason with a win in Week 17 but was defeated by the Jets 20-7 at home.

More than the on-field result, though, Philbin came under fire after allegations of bullying in the locker room following the midseason departure of offensive tackle Jonathan Martin. The team righted the ship in the immediate aftermath, but lingering concerns regarding Philbin's ability to lead remain.

To say the least, it's an interesting dynamic for a first-time general manager to walk into.

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