Come clean

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This was a bloodless coup. There is no other way to put it. And it’s time for them to come clean about what is really going on.

Recently, the Miami Dolphin signed free agent wide receiver Greg Jennings.

The 31-year-old receiver claims he had other offers, but it was a phone conversation with Dolphins VP Mike Tannenbaum that convinced him to sign with Miami.

“There were just a few things I had that I wanted to share with him personally, because everybody has a pitch. Everybody has an angle,” Jennings said from his charity golf tournament at Rush Creek Golf Club on Monday. “Shoot straight, because I’m going to shoot straight. Every visit, I shared my heart. This is what I’m looking for: I’m looking to be a leader in the locker room. I’m looking to be respected as a man of God, as a football player. Those are the things that are really important to me — and moreso, who I am, not what I can provide. Those were some of the things we cleared up. That’s really Mike and I. [The Dolphins] were very open. It was great.”

I’m sure Mike’s pitch was good to Derrick Mason in 2011 as well.

So where am I going with this?

I’m tired of the Dolphins trying to convince people that GM Dennis Hickey is making personnel decisions. That is what Tannenbaum wants you to believe. If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you in Florham Park.

They are trying to make it seem like Hickey wasn’t defrocked when Tannenbaum came in as VP.
Name any situation in the league where a GM has final say over a VP of Football Operations?

Who are they trying to kid?

Look, I’m not putting Hickey in Canton as a GM, but to me, this was a bloodless coup.

Tannenbaum and probably Matt Higgins, a former Jets executive, and owner Stephen Ross’ right hand man, were likely working on a way to get him in there. Remember, another former Tannenbaum Jets connection – Dawn Aponte – is also powerful figure in the Dolphins’ organization. So Tannenbaum has two connections who have Ross’ ear, all the time. Higgins and Aponte have a lot of say there. A lot.

I hear Tannenbaum had a meeting in London with the Dolphins last year when Miami played a game over there. One source who knows Mike thinks these meetings were held overseas to keep things under the radar.

Hey, the Dolphins can do whatever they want.

If Higgins and Ross think Mike is the guru to turn around their team, then perhaps this move makes sense.

But please spare us with this “Hickey has final say” nonsense.

As one long-time Dolphin observer described it, “You can say Hickey has final say, but he knows exactly what Mike wants.”

It’s kind of like the working relationship between a President and cabinet member. Do you think a Defense Secretary can decide to go to war without the President’s approval? I think you get the point I’m making.

June 22, 2015

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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