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Friday, February 15, 2008

Zach Thomas says he's been preparing for this move

Just got off the phone with Zach Thomas who called to say good-bye and ask if I had any final questions for him.

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."

46 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I'm going to hurl...everytime I think of him joining the Patsies...I......excuse me, I just blew my chunks....

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, so how much mooohlah is available under the cap to the dolphins?

Can we now bring in some quality guys?

10:08 AM  
Blogger John said...

Assuming Favre returns, it sounds to me like Green Bay may be the destination, reuniting with Bob Sanders.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This move was BS. He still has more game in him than 99 percent of what is left on this team. Full well knowing he is going to have interest from other teams, I sure hope they atleast tried to trade him first for a lousy pick!

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

I see San Diego in Zack's future... For a couple reasons, 1st they have all the ingredients Zack is looking for and 2nd because, after living in South Florida for the last 12 years, he will want to go where the whether is equally nice if not better.

In Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips The Chargers have a nice pair of OLBs. But who are ILBs Matt Wilhelm and Stephan Cooper? Zack could come in and make an immediate impact on a team that is very close to championship caliber.

I would have to wonder if Zack has it in his heart to play for New England? Yeah, it's a business and all that stuff, but there is a little too much love lost in the 20 odd battles he's had with those guys.

In the copy cat NFL, front running teams will have dibs on older players looking to end their career on a high note much like NE has done. I think San Diego will follow the leader and bring a few guys like Zack to try to get over the hump.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah REALLY, How much cash is available. I have searched the web, and have seen 35-40 mill. But no two figures are the same.

Ok Armando, I challenge you to get an accurate cap figure.

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zach, THANK YOU for all you have done for us Dolphin fans. It was a pleasure to see you play and made the games bearable. One request, PLEEEAASSSE do not pick up the phone if either the Pats or Jets call! :(

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Armando Acevedo said...

Zach Thomas next destination ----> New England or Indianapolis

10:37 AM  
Anonymous FLPD said...

Armando, I am impressed that Zach called you. He also called Joe Rose this morning also so you are in good company. Although Joe has a much bigger head and ego.

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zach. 1 question for you....Did you want to retire a Dolphin? Were you willing to stick it out? I do think you deserve a Superbowl shot and obviously that may be a while off in Miami. But I will be very sad to see you playing on another team!
My renewing my season TIX depend on your answer!

10:44 AM  
Blogger Chris Nelson said...

San Diego does not need Zach - for the uninformed Dolphins fan, Wilhelm and Cooper are good. And Zach would be bad in a 3-4, I don't know why he's even consider it.

10:56 AM  
Blogger Chris Nelson said...

And how the hell do Dolphins fans still not know how to spell Zach? If you're putting a K at the end of it after 12 years and all he's done, you don't deserve to ever watch a Dolphins game again.

10:56 AM  
Blogger Kevin Grierson said...

This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but with arguably our best player going off to the Patriots, and the Fins not even getting a lousy draft pick for the privilege of having our noses rubbed in it by endless pastings at the hands of our division foes.

What other team continuously gives its best players the opportunity to move to its competition IN THE SAME DIVISION?

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Sanity Here said...

I had a lot of confidence in Bill Parcells and Company before this move and I understand they wanted to get rid of the guy. But to not get anything for the guy in return is absolutely crazy. Crazy!!!

He gets cut and 5 minutes later five teams are calling his agent? And we couldn't call those teams before cutting him and ask for a draft pick?

I'm done with you, Miami Dolphins.

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

Sorry for the typo Chris... 38 tackles between the two of them? ZACH has more tackles in a wet dream.

11:08 AM  
Blogger James said...

I think this move is the best possible move that could have happened. Zach Thomas has given his heart and soul to this team for 12 years. Trading him away to some team would have been a complete insult. This release gives Zach the opportunity to do what HE wants, which he has earned and deserves.

Good luck Zach, I hope you get your championship. You've earned it!

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zach replaced Bryan Cox a former probowler as well. Did anyone see a drop off with Channing C. in the mix? Welcome to the starting line up Channing, and good luck Zach you will be missed.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Chris Nelson said...

Channing's started his entire career... including the middle when Zach was out. "Welcome to the starting lineup, Channing"? You're about three years late with that comment.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a f@#$ing disgrace....Wayne and the whole Dolphin Organization can go to Hell!

Zack still has a year or two of very good football in him.

Over the past few years....we change coaches like we change our underwear.....every new coach wants to put his "stamp" on the team and decides to cut or trade the players he feels does'nt fit.

Let's see......Madison, Welker, Chambers, Mcmichael & now Zack......yup...they all are worthless and suck.

Lemme go throw up know.

Good F&^%$ing job Dolphins!

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go to the Colts, Zach! Peyton Manning and Tony Dungy will help you get that ring.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Chris Nelson said...

The anonymous poster at 11:40 is not a Dolphins fan.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this blog. Excellent.

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RIP Miami Dolphins. 2008.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Trenton said...

Armando, the Dolphins get rid of Randy Mueller. The get rid of Keith Traylor. they get rid of Marty Booker. they get rid of Zach Thomas.

But they keep this dope Bryan Wiedermier? When is this loser going to get his butt fired? He's been with the team for 30 years and while all the good guys are fired or cut, he keeps his job by hiding underneath his desk.

When are you going to write what a waiste this guy is?

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am hoping that he doesn't go to NE, but I wouldn't mind seeing him in Indy. They have what he is looking for in a good defense, a good offense with a great QB. Plus, it would be nice to see him be part of the team that will knock NE on their ass!

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dolphins cut Zach instead of trading him in respect for all he has done for the team and let him choose where to play, if we traded Zach will get a 6 or 7th round draft for him, but cutting him was classier.

He probably will play 1 or 2 more years, the time we'll be rebuilding, so it allows a new guy to develope as well as to put the new mentality in the team.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many other players in this league have spent the last month already breaking down film and trying to prepare for next season. This guy was easily the most devoted player ever to put on a Dolphins uniform, and why wouldnt he want to play for New England where he could be reunited with a score of former Dolphins.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok I love ZT, but I want to see a better team, we must move on. Why do so many think this is such a horrible move. I think its necessary.

1:46 PM  
OpenID bighalf said...

I hate to see Zach go, it would have been nice to keep some veteran leadership on the team to help the new guys coming in, but I can see the logic in the move.

And just think, it will give us fans an oppurtunity to fall in love with the next up & coming franchinse star that they MIGHT bring in.

1:48 PM  
Anonymous jed said...

Have not checked in for awhile..

First, great moves in axing RandyCam!! I told you so..all year long. Those guys were bad. They got what they deserved.

Still, while I understand the Dolphins need to enter rebuild mode -- Zach Thomas is not the kind of guy you cut. He is valuable if only as a mentor/model for the younger players. The guy works harder than anyone. He surely has at the least 3 good more years left in him. They thought Junior Seau was washed up -- and he is in the Super Bowl this year.

This move deserves to be pilloried. The honeymoon with Ireland-Parcells is over in my book. They better follow this up with something good.

I don't give them the benefit of the doubt -- cutting Zach Thomas to save 3 million dollars is just plain stupid.

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right, it is stupid that after all of these articles you don't know he was due to make 5.6 million and not three. Great to have you back Jed.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Va_Dolfan said...

Anonymous said.... at 12:49 has it right. Zach even said so himself. They told him upfront what the plan was. They're giving the guy a chance to pick his destiny. If they'd traded him he probably would have gone to someone with a high draft pick or lousy defense, ie not a winning team.
I'm not crazy about the decision myself, I can see that sometimes the best thing you can do for a team is let the players know you respect them. That's more then a number of former Dolphins have gotten over the last 6 years.
Thanks for the Great years Zach!! We'll miss you!

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Germany speaking said...

IMPORTANT NEWS:

EVERY REAL DOLFAN should wear No.54 to every home game next season - EVERYBODY !!!!!!

Spread the news an get this tribute going !!!!!

THANKS

5:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armando,
Only one thing remains that irks me about this Thomas situation. Can you please dig a little deeper into why the Dolphins cut him as opposed to try to trade him. Or did they try? I mean, isn't a 7th round pick better than nothing?...or am I missing something. I think the Dolphin nation would love to know that

7:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish Zach well and hope he stays healthy. However, I'm not as concerned about him going to the Pat's as I don't think he's the answer for them. He Brusky and Seau would have a combined age of like 120.

Also, for all of you that cry about us getting rid of Seau and Welker to the Pat's, remember seau retired and we got our starting center for the next 10 years for Welker who was an undrafted FA. How good would Welker be on the Fin's this year with Cleo throwing to him as opposed to the Pat's where he had LB's covering him? I wonder.

7:42 AM  
Blogger the myt 13 said...

i have been a dolphin from birth in 1968 and a florida native. zach thomas was to the 'd' what danny was to the 'o' , the heart and soul. the man left everything on the field every game, period. zach , i say thank you for your blood and sweat wearing the auqa and orange. you are a dolphin for life in my eyes. good luck 54 , we will miss you.

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since even Armando is in the prediction business, I too will predict.
Zack to be a Colt. Payton Manning loves the guy.
lcw

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this move is crazy for one reason only. Players like ZT should be able to leave on their own terms. He has given us everything he has had over the years and is the perfect example of what a Dolphin ought to be. I for one would want to have these new guys coming in see his example as far as preparation and work ethic.

My son, named Zachary Thomas, is devastated. He keeps asking if we are going to cheer for another team next year and what do we do if the Dolphins play ZT's new team. I think that Indianapolis should be his first thought. Maybe Green Bay. He also may wait to see if we trade Taylor and then decide. Please no Patriots, but I wouldn't be totally surprised.

It is good to see an athlete in this type of situation leave on a positive note. What a class guy. You will be missed terribly.

10:45 AM  
Anonymous jed said...

3 million is what they said on NFL.com

5.6 million, ohh who gives a flying f-ck..

The point still stands.

11:46 AM  
Blogger Chris Nelson said...

Base salary is $5.6 million. Cap hit was $7.9 million.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

:) Jed your original point was that he was only going to count 3 million against the salary and that it is stupid to let him go for that price. As Chris pointed out the cap hit would be close to 8 million dollars. This move was not popular but it was smart business and made sense football wise. It's hard to justify having 8 million dollars locked up in an older LB with a history of concussions the most recent being one that kept him out of 11 games last year. It was time to move on. We will all miss Zach terribly but will NEVER forget him. ps you were right (and I was wrong) about Green last year. Good call. NYScott

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good move zach thomas sucks!!!!!!

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey anonymous a few posts above...there doesn't need to be any digging, they didn't trade him because that would be a dick move....When you trade a player they have no say in where they go...by releasing him he gets to decide. Easy.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is everyone wondering how much cap room there is? The Dolphins don't need cap room, they need draft picks. The Dolphins don't have a very good track record and have wasted enough "CAP Room" on free agent losers like Fiedler, Porter, Seau, et. al. The dolphins need to get some picks and start rebuilding from scratch. It's a shame they let Zach go. Zach and Taylor are the heart and soul of the Dolphins. It's a darn shame they had to suffer under the worthless tenures of Jimmy, Dave, Nick and Cam. Good luck Zach and hope you make it to a Superbowl contender other than that Massachusetts team.

Fan in VA

3:56 PM  
Blogger Big Bill said...

Zach will play in New Orleans this upcoming season. He is scheduled to be in the big easy first on Tuesday Feb. 19 2008 and he will not leave without a contract. Watch out for the saints in 2008/2009 going all the way.

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it very sad that the Herald is turning into a glorified tabloid. LeBetard writes an article telling us we should feel sorry for the millionaire players because they don't have a superbowl ring. Darlington hasn't answered any questions (on the "Dolphins q&a) since Christmas. Armando Salguero Lebetard and others feel so shunned by the new regime that they have taken to picking apart and chastizing every move they make. I just realized I have absolutely no reason to visit this web site anymore. Good luck to everyone at the Herald and I hope in the future you can learn to be more professional by being a bit more objective. Until then the Sentinel has just replaced you in my favorites window. Signed, Sick of the Herald in Daytona.

9:02 PM  

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