Top News: Dolphins Bolster Front Office, Hire Reggie McKenzie

The Dolphins bolstered their front office Friday when they hired former Packers and Raiders executive Reggie McKenzie.

McKenzie will join the Dolphins as a senior personnel executive and provide assistance to General Manager Chris Grier.

McKenzie spent the past seven seasons as general manager of the Raiders, where he helped build a team that posted a 12-4 record in 2016 and could have made a run in the postseason had it not been for quarterback Derek Carr going down with a season-ending injury.

Prior to that, he worked 18 years for the Green Bay, serving as pro personnel assistant, pro personnel director and director of football operations. When he served in that last capacity, the Packers won the Super Bowl in 2010 and finished with a league-best 15-1 regular season record the following year.

McKenzie was also named 2016 Executive of the Year by The Sporting News, The MMQB and the Professional Football Writers Association.

Earlier in the offseason, former Kansas City Chiefs director of college scouting and former Buffalo Bills national scout Marvin Allen was hired as assistant general manager.

Tank take: Of the 11 players the Dolphins have signed since the end of the 2018 season, the one with by far the most experience is defensive lineman Cornellius “Tank” Carradine. He also fits the idea of having players who can do multiple things. A second-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 2013 after he played at Florida State, Carradine has lined up at defensive end and defensive tackle in his five-year NFL career, and even got some playing time at linebacker. Carradine has 77 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 45 NFL games, eight of them he started.

Draft winds: The NFL announced the official and complete selection order for the 2019 NFL Draft, and the Dolphins ended up with picks 13, 48, 78, 116, 151, 188 and 234. The Dolphins will rotate between the 13th and 16th pick in the first six rounds with the other three teams that finished the 2018 season with a 7-9 record — Washington, Carolina and Atlanta. The only 2019 draft trades involving the Dolphins as of today involve the seventh round. The Dolphins traded the 15th pick in the round (229th overall) to the Detroit Lions for defensive tackle Akeem Spence; and they acquired the 20th pick (234th overall) from the Cleveland Browns in the Jarvis Landry trade.

Madison’s new avenue: Former Dolphins cornerback Sam Madison is on the move. The four-time Pro Bowl selection was hired this week by the Kansas City Chiefs as cornerbacks coach. He will be working with defensive backs coach David Merritt, a seventh-round pick of the Dolphins in 1993. Madison served last season as an analyst on the Dolphins’ television postgame show, along with hosting Madison Avenue on Dolphins.com.

Wine time: Hall of Famer Dan Marino has joined his former backup Damon Huard in a new wine venture and they marked the occasion with a launch party last weekend at Hard Rock Stadium. Marino teamed up with Huard, Doug Donnelly and Kevin Hughes to start a winery called — appropriately enough — Passing Time. Among those who attended the launch party was former Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas.

Tennis talk: Speaking of Hard Rock Stadium, it has undergone quite a transformation over the past few months to get it ready to host the 2019 Miami Open tennis tournament. Photos of the project’s progress have been posted on Twitter and defending men’s champion John Isner says he’s been impressed. “I do think this new venue at Hard Rock Stadium is going to be very unique and very cool, and I think the fans will love it and I think the players will like it as well,” said Isner, who’s in South Florida for the Delray Beach Open. “I’ve seen the renderings and I’ve seen the live photos as they are right now. I’ve not seen anything super up-to-date of center court, but I’ve seen the outside of it and it looks incredible.”

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