Zach Thomas says he's been preparing for this move
He said the Dolphins didn't ask him to take a pay cut to stay so he had no choice but to accept his departure. He tells me he isn't exactly thrilled that he has to leave the Dolphins. "Anytime you're cut it's not great," he admitted.
But in the same breath, he is clearly excited about the new possibilities his career is about to offer. And, true to form, he's been preparing for the likelihood he would be playing somewhere else.
"Ever since the last game of the season, you know me, I've been breaking down the defenses on a bunch of teams to see which one fits me," Thomas said. "I broke down nine teams, all 16 of their games. I've had a lot of time on my hands, I guess, so I've been looking at three or four games a day. I've been seeing which defenses have needs to fill and I've got them all saved up on the computer."
Thomas said his agent Drew Rosenhaus has indeed been fielding phone calls from interested teams. Rosenhaus has mentioned New England, Indianapolis, San Diego and Dallas as teams that make sense for Thomas.
"There are a couple of others, too," Thomas said before declining to name them.
He said he's compiled a list of requisites for the teams he will look at: "It has to be a winning team first," he said. "I've got to fit the scheme. I'm looking at a team with group of good guys. I'm looking at the place because I will be living there. And I'm looking to see what their quarterback situation is because you need a good quarterback and a good offense to win."
Thomas had been considering retirement since the end of the season, but that is out of the question now given what he calls "being totally healthy."
"I'm not waking up with anchy joints," Thomas said. "Look, if my play had dropped last year and I was feeling wrong, I'd stop. But why do that when I can still play? I've been doing this since I was in third grade. It's been an important part of my life and I still feel I can play. So that's what I'm going to do. I know when to turn the page, but it's not time to turn the page yet."
Thomas wants to play but it won't be about money or being a star on his next team.
"I want to go somewhere and fit in," he said. "I want to go to a team that doesn't need me as much as I need them."