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Dennis Hickey is Miami Dolphins' new general manager

The Miami Dolphins' winding search for their next general manager has ended with a surprise decision.

The team announced Sunday it has hired Dennis Hickey as the new GM. Hickey previously had served as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' director of player personnel.

Hickey gets the Dolphins job despite not even being an internal candidate when the Bucs were looking to fill their general manager vacancy this month. The Bucs hired Jason Licht on Tuesday. Hickey spent 18 seasons with Tampa, including the last three as the team's top personnel man.

The Dolphins' effort to fill the GM position has been an uphill battle. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday that Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio received an offer and passed. Tennessee Titans vice president of player personnel Lake Dawson released a statement to Rapoport on Sunday morning confirming he passed on the job as well, saying: "Great owner, passionate and wants to win, but the details of the offer didn't align with my vision."

Hickey wasn't a hot name on the market, and the Bucs' lack of interest in considering him as their next GM raises red flags. Rapoport added, via a source informed of Tampa's plans, that the Bucs planned to let Hickey go after May's draft and Sunday's news saves them from having to pay his contract.

The biggest question surrounding the Dolphins is why this job was so hard to fill in the first place.

Rapoport reported that candidates believed Dolphins coach Joe Philbin would have a voice in personnel matters despite owner Stephen Ross' statement that the incoming GM would have "autonomous responsibility" for the 53-man roster.

It certainly appears that the Dolphins' internal structure spooked some respected football people.

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