FOX Sports' Jay Glazer is reporting that the Dolphins are expected to cut Zach Thomas today. Here's part of the report:
Thomas, like the rest of the Dolphins, suffered through a miserable 2007 season. He suffered a concussion on the field and injuries in a car accident that limited his play...
...In the last couple of months, Thomas has told FOXSports.com he thought his release was imminent due to his salary. However, Thomas also said that he is not ready to hang up the cleats.
If true, this move does save the Dolphins $5.65 million more in cap room.
Some will now wonder where Zach will end up? Could he land in Miami at a smaller salary? Possibly, but I wouldn't bet on it. PFT believes he could wind up in New England. Ugh!
**UPDATE #1**: I'm sitting here thinking about this rumor, which is likely 100% accurate (so don't kid yourself), and I got to wondering why the Dolphins were unable to trade Thomas. Sure, he'll be 35 and is coming off of a serious concussion. But when he's on the field, he's still a top linebacker. But I guess no other team wanted to pay him the $5.65 million he was due in 2008. [end update #1]
**UPDATE #2**: I wonder what Jason Taylor is thinking about this? Did he expect it? Will he hold it against this regime? Also, one thought I have is now I think that a guy like Dan Connor (who could be around at pick #32) might be on Miami's radar come April's draft. [end update #2]
**UPDATE #3**: The Sun-Sentinel is also now reporting that Thomas will be released. According to the paper, the Dolphins told Thomas that he "no longer fits into the team's long-term plans." The paper also reports that, barring a replacement being signed or drafted, Channing Crowder will likely take over Zach's spot on the inside. Oh, and the Miami Herald also is reporting Zach's release as well. We're still awaiting confirmation from either Zach (or his agent, Drew Rosenhaus) or the Dolphins. [end update #3]
**UPDATE #4**: ESPN's Pat Yasinskas was just on ESPNews and said that he believes Bill Parcells is setting the Dolphins up to be "major players" in free agency. But keep in mind that being a major player doesn't necessarily mean blowing tons of cash on one or two top free agents. I do think the Dolphins will go after and sign a top free agent. But to think they are going to sign a combination of guys like Asante Samuel, Alan Faneca, and Lance Briggs (for examples) is an unreasonable expectation. Instead, look for more of the mid-tier free agents to make their way to Miami. [end update #4]
**UPDATE #5**: Here's what Zach's father told the Palm Beach Post:
"It’s sad for the Miami fans because he’s another Dan Marino. It’s sad he can’t retire there, but that’s just the way the game goes. It’s been a great 12 years."
It's been a great 12 years indeed. [end update #5]
I'll have more on this throughout the day and one final post on it, as well as what this clearing of cap space all might mean, late tonight/early tomorrow morning.
And as always, thoughts below...