- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Miami Dolphins' questionable structure has been a hot topic in NFL circles since they began interviews for their general manager position several weeks ago.
Multiple candidates turned down offers from the Dolphins or backed out of interviews to keep lesser jobs with other teams. A common theme has been Miami's opening isn't typical compared to most teams.
This begs the question: Do the Dolphins properly value a general manager?
It was clear Miami went into interviews pointing out that the GM will have no power over head coach Joe Philbin. Both will report directly to owner Stephen Ross, and a case can be made that Philbin currently has more pull because he's been there longer and has two years of internal knowledge.
In essence, the Dolphins were willing to settle and sacrifice the quality of GM candidates in order to protect and maintain the power of their head coach. Ross believes Philbin is the long-term solution, despite his 15-17 record.
This is not to take anything away from Dennis Hickey, who eventually took Miami's general manager position. He's spent 18 years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with mixed results and has extensive experience in college scouting, which is needed in Miami. But the fact is Hickey was not Miami's first, second or third choice and that is very telling. He probably wasn't in the Dolphins' top seven when they began putting their list together.
Right now the Dolphins appear like an organization that isn't putting enough value and power that comes with being a high-quality GM. Only time will tell if that is the right call.