Dolphins GM search: A recap of a crazy weekend leading to Dennis Hickey hire

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This weekend was absolutely insane as a fan of the Miami Dolphins. The highs and lows of people being offered, then turning down the team's GM position and ultimately the hire of Dennis Hickey, was an emotional roller coaster. We look back at the weekend this morning.

There really is no way to do this weekend justice in exactly what it felt like for a Miami Dolphins fan, riding the ups and downs of General Manager candidates being offered, then turning down, the position. However, we will try to recapture everything that happened over the weekend.

News started coming out on Friday, when it was first reported that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross would be back in Miami for the weekend, with the team's second round of interviews for the position previously held by Jeff Ireland taking place as early as dinner on Friday night. Then, word started leaking that the team was actually already in an interview, but it was with a new candidate, the New England Patriots' Nick Caserio.

The Caserio interview started early in the morning Friday, lasting until early afternoon. The Dolphins then did move into their finalists' interviews, starting with the team's Assistant GM Brian Gaine.

Saturday morning the team continued the second round of interviews, completing meetings with Caserio, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Dennis Hickey, and the Tennessee Titans' Lake Dawson.

After what seemed like a routine step in the GM search process. The news suddenly started coming fast-and-furiously. First, worked broke that the Dolphins had offered the GM position to Caserio.

It didn't take long for Caserio's offer to turn into a Caserio rejection. Citing his comfort and enjoyment of the position he currently holds as the Director of Player Personnel in New England:

Of course, Caserio's rejection also lends credit to the theory that he was simply trying to use Miami as leverage for more money in New England. Fans, of course, reacted negatively to the idea that the Dolphins were once again used to get more money from another team, a theme that has been seen many times in recent years. However, that's not a storyline unique to Miami, with most teams that are changing head coaches or GMs seeing that happen, and with the constant turnover in Miami, with a head coach or GM search being conducted every two- to three-years as of late, the team will be seen a lot.

Then, sometime between Caserio's rejection and Sunday morning, the Dolphins reportedly offered the position to Dawson, who also turned it down.

Finally, down to just Gaine and Hickey on the list, it appeared Gaine would be the favorite for the position, with Hickey considered a dark horse from the moment he entered the interview process. However, it would prove to be that dark horse would get the final offer:

In the end, the Dolphins finally had their GM, and the search was over. Whether it was the first or fourth or eighth choice, Miami's GM could get to work and start planning for free agency and the NFL Draft in May.

Reports and speculation began swirling after the Hickey hire, with people trying to determine what had caused the embarrassment of the multiple rejections. It also has led to one situation that still has to be determined:

How Gaine fits into the team's future plans, given his current role as the Assistant GM, but not being offered the position as the team's GM, will be something to watch. Teams typically wait until after the NFL Draft to shake-up a front office, so Gaine could stay with the Dolphins until May, then move on from their fourth GM candidate.

Dawson explained that the team's fit was not right for him, making him unwilling to take the position.

Dawson's rejection led to the immediate speculation that the idea that the team's GM would be answering to Executive Vice President for Football Administration Dawn Aponte was chasing away candidates

Reports continued to surface that the Aponte positioning over the GM was an issue:

There also started a running theory that Head Coach Joe Philbin, and not Hickey, would have all the power over the 53-man roster. If true, this would completely contradict the statement owner Stephen Ross had issued at the start of the GM search, where he said personnel matters would be at the sole discretion of the GM.

The team started to argue against some of the reports being made by the media:

The Dolphins end three weeks of constant updates and rumors with the hire of Hickey yesterday. However, the team does not come out of this search unscathed, with a lot of people asking questions about the team's process, Ross' refusal to allow the GM to have power over the coach, and trying to figure out exactly where Miami goes from here.

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