4:43pm: The Dolphins have issued a statement on the hire on their team website.
4:14pm: The Dolphins will introduce Hickey at a press conference on Tuesday, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (via Twitter).
10:24am: The Dolphins have finally settled on a new general manager, hiring former Tampa Bay director of player personnel Dennis Hickey, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. The Dolphins’ search for a GM has been widely-discussed among national and local writers, particularly after Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio turned down the job earlier this week. James Walker, who covers the Dolphins for ESPN.com, tweeted yesterday that Miami completely botched the GM search, and he tweeted today that Hickey was probably not even the Dolphins’ fifth or sixth choice when this process began.
Walker may well be correct in his assessment. ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that, not long before they hired Hickey, the Dolphins offered the job to Titans Vice President of Football Operations Lake Dawson. Dawson turned down the job as well, and Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets that Dawson released a statement saying that Miami was not an “ideal fit” and that “details of the offer didn’t align with my vision.” Adding to the curiosity of the situation is that the Buccaneers, who recently hired Jason Licht as their GM, did not even interview Hickey for that role.
Hickey worked for the Buccaneers for 18 years, and served as the director of player personnel for the last three seasons. He was an important part of Tampa Bay’s major splashes over the past couple of years, as the team signed Pro Bowl safety Dashon Goldson and traded for All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis before the 2013 season and signed Pro Bowl wide receiver Vincent Jackson prior to the 2012 season. The 2012 draft may have been the highlight of Hickey’s career with the Bucs. That year’s class included highly-regarded players like safety Mark Barron, running back Doug Martin, and linebacker Lavonte David.
Hickey takes over for Jeff Ireland, who had been the Dolphins’ GM since 2008. Ireland and the Dolphins “mutually agreed” to part ways several weeks ago, setting off Miami’s unusual search for a replacement that culminated with Hickey’s acceptance earlier today. Hickey does not inherit a bare cupboard by any means, as the Dolphins narrowly missed the playoffs this season and have solid talent on both sides of the ball. Nonetheless, the fact that at least two candidates turned down such a high-profile position does lead to speculation regarding the stability of the front office. Attempting to read between the lines of Dawson’s rejection, Volin tweeted simply, “that place is a mess.”