Miami Dolphins Hiring Dennis Hickey as New General Manager Raises Questions

By DJ Siddiqi
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It took the Miami Dolphins longer than any other NFL team to find a general manager, but they finally found one at the beginning of the week with the hiring of Dennis Hickey. On Sunday, it was announced Hickey would serve as the new GM of the Dolphins. Hickey had previously served 18 years in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization with the last three seasons as the director of the Buccaneers’ player personnel department.

For several reasons, this is an odd hire by Miami. For one, he’s an unknown candidate. Secondly, he wasn’t even considered for the Buccaneers’ own general manager position a couple of weeks ago when they hired Jason Licht to be their new GM. That has to raise questions considering Hickey had been a part of the Tampa organization for 18 years. Lastly, Hickey obviously wasn’t Miami’s No. 1 target for the GM position — several other candidates for the position rejected Miami’s job offer.

Which is how the Dolphins came to hire Hickey as GM.

Nick Caserio of the New England Patriots and Lake Dawson of the Tennessee Titans, both personnel directors and/or vice presidents within their respective organizations, rejected Miami’s job offer of the general manager position before Hickey became Miami’s new general manager.

Considering the Dolphins’ history over the last few years, does that not make you worry? Remember when the Dolphins attempted to lure head coach Jim Harbaugh to South Florida back in 2o11? The former Stanford head coach was a hot commodity and it came down to the San Francisco 49ers and the Dolphins as the teams who had a chance to hire the coach. Harbaugh instead decided to go to San Francisco — a team who hadn’t been to the playoffs or finished with a winning record for eight consecutive seasons.

Remember when the Dolphins made an attempt to sign quarterback Peyton Manning in 2012 and failed miserably? What about the time Jeff Fisher was on the coaching market in 2012 and he decided to hop on board with the St. Louis Rams instead, a team who had the worst record in the NFL over the previous three seasons up until that point?

Hickey may or may not become a good general manager in Miami. Similar to his name value, it is unknown whether Hickey will be considered a successful hiring at this point.

What Hickey’s hiring does bring up, is a lot of questions—several more known candidates rejected the Dolphins’ job offers for the GM position. This has been the case within the organization for other positions. Is this an indication of the lack of stability within the organization? Is it because people don’t like Stephen Ross as the owner of the team? Is it because they believe Joe Philbin will have too much of a say in personnel matters?

The only thing we know for sure is that a lot of people have passed on being involved with the Dolphins’ organization over the last several years. And that in itself, raises question marks.

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