Today we continue Looking back at the 2016 off-season for the Miami Dolphins and the 20 moves that could impact not only the 2016 season but beyond.
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Number 14: In with Grier out with Hickey
The 2015 season was still in full view as the calendar turned from 2015 to 2016. For the Dolphins, the off-season was already in motion, once again eliminated from playoff contention.
The biggest decisions would obviously come at head coach but another member of the Dolphins executive branch was still waiting on his future to be officially decided.
Dennis Hickey was hired by Dolphins owner Steven Ross following the firing of Jeff Ireland two years before. Hickey was, at the time considered to be the only candidate willing to take the Dolphins job. The GM search at that time was bumbling to say the least.
In his two years with the Dolphins, Hickey actually did a pretty decent job of getting players. From his 2014 draft, his first as a GM, five players of the eight he drafted remain with the team. Including two starters in Ja’Wuan James and Jarvis Landry and potentially a 3rd in Billy Turner.
In 2015 Hickey drafted seven players and all but remain with the team in 2016. Many believe that the 2015 draft was more Mike Tannenbaum than Hickey and as the season progressed, Hickey’s duties became less and less notable as was he.
Rumors began to circulate that if the Dolphins did not part ways with Hickey at season’s end, he would resign. The Dolphins and Hickey parted ways on January 2nd. Two days later, the Dolphins named Chris Grier the new GM.
On the surface the Dolphins decision to promote Grier seemed more or less a nod that Tannenbaum was going to remain in total control but the reality is that Grier had built his career with the Dolphins climbing the ranks in the scouting department.
Grier is widely respected in league circles and had interviewed previously for other NFL job. The Dolphins appeared to have made the right decision to retain talent from within instead of letting them go elsewhere.
Whether or not Grier pays off in the end could have more to do with how much responsibility for the team he actually has compared to that of Tannenbaum. If things fail will Grier be the fall guy or will Grier impress enough grow further in the league?
What is for certain is that total change was made within the organization from the GM down to the field. And for all intent and purposes it appears that the egos of everyone have been left at the door. Something that couldn’t be said with Jeff Ireland and Joe Philbin.