He may not actually be a Miami Dolphin right now, but he'll always be a Miami Dolphin to most Dolphin fans. And according to ESPN's Adam Schefter (and pointed out to me by the fine folks at Arrowhead Pride), Zach Thomas is expected to retire in the near future. Schefter writes via his Twitter page:
Bruschi exited today, Zach Thomas next. He won't play again for Chiefs and, barring unforseen, is finished in NFL. End for 1 more great LB.
Zach's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, disputes this report, though. Via his Twitter page, Rosenhaus writes:
Zach Thomas is not retiring. He is progressing from his injury & he fully expects to have a great season with the Chiefs in 09.
Putting these two pieces of news together, what I get from everything is that Thomas is probably done with the Chiefs due to injury issues. While Rosenhaus is probably hoping for an injury settlement, the main point of all this is that Zach won't be in Kansas City in 2009 and likely won't find work from any other team at this stage in his career.
If Zach is indeed retiring, I do hope the Dolphins step up and offer their legendary linebacker a one-day contract to retire as a Miami Dolphin. That's how it should be and I'm sure both sides understand this.
Thomas spent his first 12 seasons in Miami, where he was a 7 time Pro Bowler and 5 time first-team All-Pro as well as a 2 time second-team All-Pro. He ends his career with 1,106 solo tackles, 20.5 sacks, 17 interceptions, and 4 career touchdowns.
While I don't want to get into the Hall of Fame debate at this time, my personal feelings are any time a player is among the top 3 or 4 at his position for 7+ years, he deserves to be in Canton.