After more than a decade-and-a-half of service to the organization, Chris Grier is being rewarded as the Miami Dolphins' new general manager.
The Dolphins confirmed the move Monday after Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald initially reported the news of Grier's promotion on Sunday. He will move up from his prior position as the team's director of college scouting.
“I want to thank Stephen Ross and Mike Tannenbaum for this tremendous opportunity,” Grier said in a team release. “I love this organization and feel I am the right man for this job. South Florida is very important to me and my family, and I look forward to working with our personnel and coaching staff to add talent to the roster.”
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport referenced how widely renowned Grier is, suggesting the Dolphins couldn't have done much better in terms of in-house GM candidates:
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
On #Dolphins: College scouting director Chris Grier is expected to be elevated to GM on Monday. Very respected & under-the-radar.2016-1-3 12:45:37
“I am really proud that Chris will lead our player personnel at both the college and pro level,” Executive Vice President of Football Operations Mike Tannenbaum said in the release. “Chris is a passionate personnel executive that is highly respected throughout the NFL. His experience within the organization, background and approach to building a team made him the unquestioned choice to be our next General Manager.”
The Dolphins announced they had parted ways with prior GM Dennis Hickey this past Saturday. Hickey landed superstar defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh in free agency last offseason but didn't build a team good enough to make a playoff run in 2015, which also led to the early-season exit of head coach Joe Philbin.
Considering he's seen the franchise suffer through a stretch of only one playoff appearance since 2002, Grier ought to have enough firsthand knowledge to solve Miami's issues. What may be most urgent on Grier's agenda is nailing the hiring of Philbin's full-time successor.
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Figuring out how to make Miami a true AFC East contender is going to be quite a complex puzzle for Grier to solve. Although he has to be grateful for a long-awaited opportunity to be the personnel chief, he has a lot of challenging decisions to make in addition to finding the right coach.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill hasn't proved he's fully worth the four-year, $77 million contract extension he was rewarded with this past May. Suh is a big salary-cap burden who didn't exactly transform the Dolphins defense in his first year with the team.
Grier must also contend with the presence of Tannenbaum. The former GM will definitely have a strong opinion on personnel moves, which may complicate Grier's efforts to turn the Dolphins around after years of turmoil.