When the Dolphins recently moved defensive lineman Randy Starks to nose tackle, some wondered if this move was going to be for the full season or just until Jason Ferguson returned from his eight game suspension.
Jason won't be returning any more.
On Thursday, the veteran nose tackle announced his retirement after 13 NFL seasons. Ferguson said of his decision:
"You get what you put into this game. I would like to thank my family, the fans and the organizations that I have been a part of for their continued support throughout my career, it’s been an absolute blessing to play this long. I have built a lot of relationships, you develop an extended family playing this game; I would like to thank that extended family, the teammates, the coaches, the support staffs that have all played a part of a great ride."
This decision feels like it came out of nowhere. In fact, Ferguson recently joined the Twitter world and it was just a few days ago that Jason tweeted about how excited he was for the upcoming season. But a few hours ago, Jason tweeted that he and Dolphin fans "got to talk" and that he would "talk to us more later."
Then the Dolphins announced this news.
How does this impact the Dolphins? For one thing, Jason's leadership will be missed. He's now another locker room leader who is no longer in Miami, putting more pressure on new leaders to emerge.
While a fresh Ferguson would have been a great addition in the middle of the season once his suspension was up, Jeff Darlington tells us via twitter that the Dolphins did already plan on leaving Starks as the starting nose tackle. Darlington also says that "Starks learned plenty the last few months" from Ferguson.
The way I see it, Jason's mentoring of Starks the past few months was his parting gift to the Dolphins - and to Bill Parcells, who he had a great relationship with.
Here's to wishing Ferg a happy retirement!