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. Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio and Titans vice president of player personnel Lake Dawson turned down job offers only hours before Miami reached out to Hickey, while 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 GM ended Jan. 7 when he and owner Stephen Ross agreed to part ways.
Hickey had 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.
Some candidates and potential candidates expressed concern about the Dolphins’ power structure, including the role of Aponte, who clashed with Ireland.
Rice team triumphs
Dallas running back DeMarco Murray caught a 20-yard pass for a touchdown and Carolina’s Mike Tolbert plunged into the end zone for a 2-point conversion with less than one minute left to give Jerry Rice a 22-21 win over Deion Sanders in the first schoolyard-style Pro Bowl.
Baltimore’s Justin Tucker missed a 67-yard field goal on the game’s final play after missing a 66-yarder earlier in Honolulu.
The touchdown and conversion gave Rice’s team the win after Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles threw a 12-yard touchdown to Cleveland tight end Jordan Cameron with less than five minutes to play to give Sanders a 21-14 lead.
The Cameron and Murray touchdowns were the only scores of the second half in a game that had eight turnovers — including six interceptions — and nine sacks.
Tillman on move?
Former All-Pro cornerback Charles Tillman, who spent the last 11 years with the Bears, will test the free agent waters, according to an NFL.com report citing a source with knowledge of the player’s thinking. Tillman had an injury-plagued 2013 season, playing in just eight games. The report said it’s unlikely the Bears will dole out the $7.95 million he made in 2013 . . . The Ravens will pick either Kyle Shanahan or current receivers coach Jim Hostler as offensive coordinator on Monday, according to a report on NFL.com. Shanahan was credited with revitalizing the Redskins attack as offensive coordinator in 2012 with Robert Griffin III at quarterback. But last season Washington’s offense faltered mightily and he was fired along with head coach — and father — Mike Shanahan. Hostler’s top card is that he knows the players and the system . . . The Redskins hired Randy Jordan as running backs coach. He spent the last two years as running backs coach at the University of North Carolina.