The Finsiders' Greg Likens relayed a statement from Dolphins executive vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum regarding the move:
Greg Likens @GregLikens
Statement from Mike Tannenbaum on Dennis Hickey https://t.co/cXk0AXpPup2016-1-3 01:10:14
"I have been blessed to be the general manager of the Miami Dolphins for the last two seasons, and I want to thank Stephen Ross for giving me this opportunity," Hickey said in the team's press release. "During my time here with the Dolphins, I approached each day with passion, drive and integrity in trying to bring a championship to this proud franchise."
Hickey's dismissal comes on the heels of a report from NFL.com's Jeff Darlington that painted a detailed picture of the frosty relationship between the former general manager and Tannenbaum—who's expected to take over as the face of the front office.
"Tannenbaum and Hickey aren't talking much," Darlington wrote Saturday. "Their offices are on separate ends of the team's Davie, Florida, facility, and they do not sit together during games. While Hickey watches games with the scouting department, Tannenbaum generally watches games with owner Stephen Ross in his suite."
Darlington also reported the team will likely dismiss "those loyal to Hickey," such as assistant general manager Eric Stokes.
NFL Network's Albert Breer provided his take on the sea change occurring within Miami's front office two years after Hickey's appointment to the GM chair:
Albert Breer @AlbertBreer
As @JeffDarlington detailed there, my understanding was that in 2015, Hickey's role was basically reduced to that of a scouting director.2016-1-3 01:17:08
ESPN's Adam Schefter and NFL Network's Ian Rapoport both cited a current front-office staple as the favorite to take over as general manager:
Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter
Dolphins director of college scouting Chris Grier is the leading candidate to replace Dennis Hickey as Miami's GM, per league sources.2016-1-3 01:20:55
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
The #Dolphins announced they parted ways with GM Dennis Hickey. Expect college scouting director Chris Grier to get a hard look.2016-1-3 01:17:28
Regardless of whether Chris Grier is appointed the team's next general manager, the man who fills the position will likely need to work with Tannenbaum to hire a new head coach if the franchise releases interim coach Dan Campbell. According to Darlington, "Tannenbaum and his confidants do not believe he is ready to be a permanent headman."
And while turmoil has engulfed the Dolphins throughout the 2015 season, it's hard to ignore the talent they've assembled.
Ryan Tannehill, Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker give Miami a solid offensive triumvirate, and a defense anchored by Ndamukong Suh, Reshad Jones and Cameron Wake—assuming he can return from his Achilles injury—offers hope that the Dolphins can emerge as postseason contenders sooner rather than later.
With continued success in the personnel department and a new head coach who's capable of maximizing the talent of the team's up-and-coming young players, Miami could construct a timely turnaround.