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Dolphins hire Hickey as GM

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The Miami Dolphins hired Tampa Bay Buccaneers director of player personnel Dennis Hickey as their new general manager, the team announced Sunday.

Hickey will replace Jeff Ireland, who parted ways with the Dolphins earlier this month after six years as the team's GM.

Stephen Ross, the Dolphins' chairman of the board and managing general partner, announced the hiring.

Hickey will oversee all aspects of football operations, reporting directly to Ross, and head coach Joe Philbin will continue to oversee his coaching staff and report directly to Ross as well, the Dolphins said in a statement.

"I am excited that Dennis Hickey is our new general manager," Ross said. "When we started the search, I outlined qualities that I was looking for in this position. These included a collaborative team-first person who can work with Joe, demonstrated player evaluation expertise, and someone who is open-minded and creative. Dennis fit all of these criteria and I'm looking forward to having him get started."

Hickey, an 18-year employee of the Buccaneers, became the director of player personnel under GM Mark Dominik in 2011. Hickey reportedly wasn't considered for the team's recently filled GM job that went to Jason Licht.

Hickey, 43, was in that position for the past three years with Tampa Bay. He spent six years as director of college scouting prior to that.

"Miami is a great franchise with a historic tradition and passionate fans," Hickey said in a statement. "The opportunity to work with Stephen Ross, Joe Philbin and the entire Dolphins organization to build a team that wins on a consistent basis is exciting.

"The Dolphins certainly have talented players and I am eager to hit the ground running with our personnel and coaching staffs. We will all work together to construct a team that will make our organization and fans proud.

"I would like want to thank the Buccaneers organization and Glazer family for the past 18 years. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from a number of quality coaches, personnel staffs and general managers during my time in Tampa Bay and I am thankful for the opportunities and experiences that they provided for me and my family."

Ross interviewed four finalists in the past two days. According to the Florida Sun-Sentinel, offers were made to New England Patriots executive Nick Cesario and Tennessee Titans vice president of player personnel Lake Dawson, but both individuals reportedly turned down the position. Another finalist, Cleveland assistant general manager Ray Farmer, denied a second interview, opting to stay with the Browns.

Miami missed the playoffs for the fifth straight year in 2013, losing its last two games en route to an 8-8 finish under second-year coach Philbin.

The Dolphins' season also was mired by the bullying scandal involving offensive linemen Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito.

Dawson said in a statement in The Tennessean why he turned down the Dolphins' GM job.

"Stephen (Ross) is a great owner, passionate and wants to win, but the details of the offer didn't align with my vision," he said. "I turned it down because it wasn't an ideal fit for my family and me."
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