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Dolphins hire former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum as executive VP

Former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum looks on

Former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum looks on from the sideline before a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Credit: Getty, 2010

The Dolphins reached agreement Tuesday with former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum to be their executive vice president of football operations, starting Feb. 1.

Tannenbaum and coach Joe Philbin will report directly to owner Steve Ross. General manager Dennis Hickey will report directly to Tannenbaum.

"I am excited that Mike Tannenbaum has joined the organization full time,'' Ross said in a release issued by the team. "He is an experienced executive and leader that understands all facets of the sports landscape.''

The Jets fired Tannenbaum in January 2013 after a 6-10 season. He was hired as an agent by Priority Sports & Entertainment and had been representing several broadcasters and coaches in the NFL and NBA.

Coincidentally, Tannenbaum represents Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who interviewed last week for the Jets' coaching job. But on a conference call, Tannenbaum stressed he no longer will handle coaching contract negotiations. NFL player agent Rick Smith will take over the coaching division Tannenbaum launched at Priority Sports.

Tannenbaum, who spent 16 years with the Jets, was hired last summer as a Dolphins consultant. He said he talks to Ross "all the time'' and that discussions about the vice president's job came up over "the last couple of weeks.''

But it was long rumored that Tannenbaum's role with the Dolphins would grow quickly. His friendship with Dawn Aponte, the Dolphins' executive vice president of football administration, dates to their days in the Jets' front office.

"Football is in my blood,'' Tannenbaum said. "I spent two years away from it and missed it dearly. And at the end of the day, this is who I am.''

Tannenbaum's former client Quinn has received a great deal of interest. On Wednesday, the Jets are expected to meet with Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and Chargers offensive coordinator Frank Reich. Both have ties to the area and the Jets.

Reich, a native of Freeport, grew up in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, where his father was a high school coach. Reich played for Maryland before spending 14 NFL seasons (1985-98) as a quarterback, mainly as a backup for the Bills. He spent 1996 with the Jets, playing 10 games for a 1-15 team.

Bowles grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and played at Temple. He began his NFL coaching career in 2000 as the Jets' defensive backs coach.

A source said the Jets on Tuesday interviewed general manager candidate Chris Grier, the Dolphins' director of college scouting. Grier has been with the organization for the past 15 seasons, having served as a regional and national scout and an assistant director of college scouting.

A son of Bobby Grier, a former vice president of player personnel with the Patriots, Chris Grier began his NFL career as a Patriots intern in 1994.

The Jets also have spoken with former Seahawks executive Scot McCloughan about joining their organization. But a source said those talks weren't about him becoming their GM.

Reports surfaced yesterday that McCloughan was negotiating with the Redskins to become their GM. But later reported that the Jets and Raiders continue to express interest in him.

McCloughan, a longtime NFL executive with deep roots in scouting, most recently worked in the Seahawks' front office alongside GM John Schneider. Prior to that, McCloughan was the 49ers' GM.

New York Sports