Buccaneers executive Hickey hired as Dolphins' GM

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 26, 2014 at 5:04 pm •  Published: January 26, 2014

MIAMI (AP) — In their fitful, laborious search for a general manager, the Miami Dolphins finally found someone to say yes: Dennis Hickey.

The longtime Tampa Bay Buccaneers executive accepted the job Sunday, ending a search that lasted nearly three weeks.

Hickey's hiring came after the Dolphins were rejected by several candidates. New England Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio and Tennessee Titans vice president of player personnel Lake Dawson turned down job offers only hours before Miami reached out to Hickey, while Cleveland Browns assistant general manager Ray Farmer withdrew from consideration Thursday.

Several others declined invitations to interview as a replacement for Jeff Ireland, whose six-year stint as general manager ended Jan. 7 when he and owner Stephen Ross agreed to part ways.

Hickey has been with the Buccaneers for 18 seasons, including the past three as director of player personnel. He was their director of college scouting for six years.

He was not interviewed for Tampa Bay's GM job when it became open after this season. The Bucs won four division titles and one Super Bowl championship during his time with them, but went 28-52 over the past five years and had spotty draft results during that span.

Hickey was among eight candidates interviewed by Miami, with Ross aide Matt Higgins and executive vice president of football administration Dawn Aponte helping the owner with the screening process. The other finalist was Dolphins assistant general manager Brian Gaine, who worked under Ireland.

Some candidates and potential candidates expressed concern about the Dolphins' power structure, including the role of Aponte, who clashed with Ireland.

In a news release to announce the hiring, the Dolphins said Hickey will oversee all aspects of football operations and report directly to Ross. Coach Joe Philbin will continue to report directly to Ross as well, while Aponte's place in the chain of command wasn't spelled out.

Ross' loyalty to Philbin, who is 15-17 in two seasons with Miami, may have been a stumbling block for some candidates. In a statement, Ross cited Hickey's willingness to work with Philbin as a factor in the hiring.

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