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Thomas: Dolphins have to show respect

If a Mount Rushmore of Dolphins players existed, Zach Thomas would be up there with Dan Marino and Larry Csonka and a couple of others. He was a Dolfans' favorite player from the second in 1996 he stepped on the field as a short, no-neck-having, self-deprecating rookie to the day in 2008 he packed his belongings and left.

And to this day Zach Thomas remains a South Florida resident, a fan of the Dolphins, and someone the organization admires enough that it considered him to join the new radio team being assembled to work on a new flagship station -- the team by the way, would not consider me as a commentator because I'm not enough of a homer.

Anyway, the point is when Zach Thomas is peeved with the organization, well then, something is wrong -- not with Zach, but with the organization.

And Zach Thomas is steaming about how the Dolphins have treated his brother-in-law Jason Taylor (married to Zach's sister Katina). He's upset about the handling of the latest Taylor saga in particular and and about the way the Dolphins handle inconic players in general.

Yesterday on the Sid Rosenberg show on 560-AM here in South Florida, Thomas pulled back the curtain on how Jeff Ireland and Bill Parcells handled his departure when he was waived by the Dolphins.

"The only thing that was like a punch in the gut to me was the day I was cleaning out my locker, the day they cut me, [agent] Drew [Rosenhaus] asked them if I could just say thanks to the fans through the media at the Dolphins facility and their answer was, 'No, he's not a Dolphins player anymore, he's got to do it off premises.'" Thomas said. "That's when you know, like, 'Wow,' the whole loyalty and everything they preach with team and things like that goes out the window."

None of this is commentary on how the Dolphins make football decisions. There is no arguing it was time for Zach to go. He didn't fit the Dolphins scheme. He was getting up there in years. He was coming off a year in which he had concussion issues.

But this is commentary on what happens after the football decisions are made. A player like Zach Thomas basically gets kicked to the curb in much the same manner as Abraham Wright would.

After he was waived, Thomas had to find a way to say good-bye to Dolphins fans. He had to call media members one by one, me and many others included, to say his farewell to ... you.

That is wrong.

This regime doesn't like making exceptions. They like to treat all the players the same. The Dolphins, for example, are one of the few NFL teams that do not welcome new free agents with press conferences because the team doesn't want to make it seem like the new players are more important than the ones already on the roster. The Dolphins also don't get mushy when former greats such as Thomas or, yes, Jason Taylor leave are or forced to leave.

And that is fine if you're talking about Shawn Murphy being traded. But if Jason Taylor is being traded, that needs to be handled differently.

The strange thing here is that general manager Jeff Ireland is aware of how great players should be treated. He sometimes talks about how he doesn't want to do anything that would sully the organization's great name or history.

Ireland's stepfather was a Hall of Famer E.J. Holub. His grandfather Jim Parmer was a former Philadelphia player and Bears executive. Those men knew the importance of legacy and standing. Those guys respected those ideals.

But Ireland, under Bill Parcells, isn't really holding up his end very well in that department. The Dolphins fumbled on the Zach Thomas dismissal two years ago. They dropped the ball again in the manner they treated Jason Taylor this offseason.

Their football decisions were probably correct in both instances. Their people skills were lacking both times.

"You've got to know to respect great players," Thomas said. "You've got to know that. Jason is going to be a Hall of Famer. He's going to be in the [Dolphins Ring] of Honor. His name is always going to be in Dolphin Stadium, and that's big. And you know what, you can do it in a different approach. It might not be their approach. But I get disappointed when I see guys that have put everything on the line for the Dolphins organization and have a Hall-of-Fame career like Jason Taylor and it goes down like it has the last couple weeks...

"I'm not trying to be hard on Jeff Ireland. But he's saying it wrong, especially for a guy who has so much history with the Miami Dolphins. He's the all-time sacks leader among active players, and you're going to talk about him like he's a first- or second-year player. He should know how to respect guys that have been great to the game. ... It's fine if you don't have a need for him. But you tell him up front. And you don't go through the media and act like you're shocked that it's being brought up. I don't like the organization to look bad that way."

Here is a quick suggestion to the Miami Dolphins, an organization that thinks it knows it all: Sign Zach Thomas for a day. Hold the press conference now that you refused to grant him in 2008. Allow Zach to say good-bye the right way.

You can't do anything about how you handled Jason Taylor's departure. Right the wrong you did with the Zach Thomas departure. And do it soon.


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This is sad.

I can't wait for the draft to start and everyone to move past the fact we didn't sign Jason Taylor.

Stop living in the past people.

JT is a legend that's why, and the FO showed no tact in handling the situation

It's ok that they didn't sign Taylor. But why did they not tell him a while ago?

Glad Mando and other Herald columnist are not in charge of football operations or we'd still have Marino and other '72 Fins on our roster!!! I wish Taylor would've received 1/2 the scrutinny the FO is receiving for choosing Dancing with Stars over his team!! Nice legend!!!!!!!!

Living in the past? If we didn't we'd have NOTHING to be proud of! Those 2 players are ICONIC as Dolphin's, and SHOULD BE SHOWN RESPECT! This group of guys are ridiculous!

Once Jason Taylor decides to be a Jet, he is a Jet.

In five years, he can come back and wave and smile on the Miami sideline.

Miami's FO said they would handle it after the draft.

Draft the position for the future, and stop looking into hanging on to a past that never really existed. I am having a hard time remembering when Miami's D has stepped up in a game that really mattered in the last 7 years....


when JT asked for a trade to the redskins he didnt care ablotu loyalty all he wanted was a new contract and a chance to win he didnt respect the FO and didnt even want to practice. know the FO is wrong why because we did not automatically open a position for him. when he left it was a footbal decision so is this.

AMEN ARMANDO ON ZACH AND JT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Miami's D may have not stepped up, but, JT certainly did, and made plays to swing the end of the game LAST YEAR!

Yeah because for the rest of us, if our company lets us go they first let us hold a conference with our colleagues and clients to say goodbye. This disrespect BS is just that, BS. Millions of dollars to play football isn't "respect". Get over it.


Bobbyd12 trust me you're well suited for the handcuffs and criminals, real men work at prison with other men. I didn't say anything to you. I posted a blog you didn't agree with it, that fine, but you and nyScott take things to a whole new level. Here's my olive branch, which lb do you think we'll pickup in the draft? Will we trade up or down to select our overall #1?

Yesterday was one of the worst days in Miami Dolphins history. Jason decides on the jets & the 2010 schedule stinks. NE & Ny in December

Jason Taylor left after 1-15 to go win with the Redskins...he returned, and we didn't make the playoffs...he leaves again.


Don't take it out of context dude, I actually wanted to go into that profession. I think it's a gift actually, and I happen to really like it.

I just chose another way for different reasons, but who know--maybe someday I will make an investment in it.

Who is Jason Taylor?all I know is jason pierre paul

I 100% agree. Zach Thomas is and will always be a stud in my book, right up there with Dan Marino. Let him sign for a day and retire a Dolphin. Otherwise, all the things the team on the field won't matter as much to me, a Dolphins fan for the last 20 years. Treat our hometown heroes with respect. I may be from Cali and live in Chicago, but I will always love my Dolphins. So I really hope Ireland and Parcels are paying attention. Treat our legends with respect.

As for Jason Taylor, it is an insult he signed with the Jets. I don't mind the Pats. Even the Bills so much. But the Jets? I am insulted by both sides of that argument.

JT was looking for his past to carry him still... He is not good for the OLB position at this stage... He can't change directions quick enough to recover from his rush to attack the run, he can't get off blocks if he gets caught up, and he can't cover TEs when the situation dictates... He is a freaking liability on the field... We need a 23-24 year old player that smells blood, and doesn't care whose it is, when he's out there... JT is a pass rush specialist that becomes a liability when a run goes to his side, or he is matched up man-to-man on a TE... The Jets will figure that out after they're trying to rotate him into pass-only situations and somebody goes for 20yds on an off-tackle to his side on 3rd and 18...

Let me get out my tissue and wipe my eyes...Armando mentions Ireland's Great Grandfather and respect...well, players used to ALSO have loyalty...now they are money wh"res, chasing the big contract...Works both ways, the name of the game today is winning, and like another poster said, it's not about the name on the back of the Jersey, but the front


Zack Thomas shut up and get off the airwaves.


Football is a business for PROFIT. Didnt zacky and JT get paid handsomely?

Let me ask you this, if you get canned in any other profession, your usually given a box to load up your things and get the hell out.... You dont stick around for farewell sideshows.

Stop the endearment with the players.


My name is Earl Thomas.....

parcells and ireland take the "CL" out of class....

Swedish- That is awesome....well-thought out and incredibly funny..."cl" out of "class"....

Great Post. I'm as exciting and happy like everyone else is with what the dolphins organization has done for miami and is doing for miami. But it is about time the media start blasting them and putting them in thier place. I agree both Thomas and Taylor were not a fit in Miami but those guys mean alot to us. And the Dolphins administration need to understand that they are nothing with out us. Give Zach his respect, and they will regain the respect from us.

oh nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo only 1 day till the draft. What can cry about in the interim?????????

I say it once again Armando.....aren't you the same guy that wanted to bring back Cam Cameron for another year because you let your emotions get the best of you in the end? Could you imagine were we would be? I'm talking Detroit Lions quality! Zack Thomas, like Taylor days came to an end. Period. Get your brain back on point: Winning the Superbowl. Taylor like Thomas at 35 are mediocre players in this league! Only idiots like Cam Cameron would give players like Taylor or Thomas big contracts before the draft. Get Real! We'll never win a Superbowl with your way of thinking!

Nice column Mando. I'm a fins fan thru & thru but extremely disappointed about the way these situations were handled. Good suggestion re: Zach but doubt they'll do it.

I don't get all the JT haters in here. He didn't want to be a Jet-he wanted to stay here. But his opportunities were limited and he has done what probably anyone of us would've done if faced w/the same situation.

I will certainly root against JT.....as a JET! But I will root for JT the person. He will always bleed teal.

It is what it is........... JT, Zack thanks for the great memories.The business world and The NFL are alike in a lot of ways cruel but that is the way it is.Someday you will be in the dolphins hall of fame. let's get over this.

Thomas was vastly overrated & benefits from the system! Notice that the Phins only strong end to a season in recent years was when neither Taylor nor Thomas were wearing the acqua! Nuff said!

this sucks every body talking about ZT and JT but somebody realy think that this trifecta resing Ferguson,Pennintong

If Jason was so dedicated to ending his career in Miami he would have signed the 2-year contract offered to him last year. Now he will be "Dancing With The Jerks".

Although I am not happy with JT, he is not all the blame. Our front office (Bill, Jeff, Tony) do not make sense to me and the becomes more clear every year. Until I see their backup plan for not signing JT, it is a 50/50 wrong doing by both sides in my opinion...

Respect...? How about respecting the game enough to take the high road... Too much dirty laundry airing by JT in my opinion... You're a Jet bro, get over yourself... You need to worry about Ricky, Ronnie, Marshawn, etc. now... Rex is gonna be peaved when he can't play you until it's 3rd and 4 miles... you're only going to be slower in your rush recovery than you were last year dude... Give it up, know when to walk away... Now you're going to go make an ass out of yourself dressed in green and whining still about how The Tuna gave you the snub... Brother, some things stay behind closed doors... I guess you're warming up for your future as a reality show diva...

He did'nt absolutely HAVE to go to the yets and as long as he is a yet I will look at him as just another d-bag, piece of sht yet. Then, maybe, in about ten years or so I may change my mind.

Just heard you on QAM, Mando. That new "flagship" is making a mistake not putting you on the air. You're excellent on radio.


Californiadreamin: no, no!!! U've got it all wrong. He was player of the yr 4 yrs ago (before Dancing Stars and Redskins) so FO should have allowed him to write his own contract and actually run the draft as well; I mean he is a legend!! God forbid he waits till after the draft and 1.5 million dollars?????? Palease.....

Good job on the radio with Big O, Mando. Very good. When you on next?

Thank God for the draft, one more day. All this JT saga is giving me a headache.
Good article Armando. We all appreciate JT's years of good service to the Phins. But I guess business is business. Now we need to move on to the draft. I just hope the trifecta can make better picks in this draft than they can show respect to players.



How come NOBODY in the media took JT to task on his comment 'I would rather retire than play for the New York Jets'. NOBODY questioned him on this one....NOBODY.

JT at his core is nothing but a big phony. He's going to be perfect in the movie business because he's able to take on whatever persona her wants. He plays up the media to get sympathy on his side and get people pulling for him.

Sorry but Zach is wrong on this one. He's too close to the situation to have a valid opinion on the JT matter. JT is the one who handled everything wrong. The regime was upfront and honest with JT in November and throughout the off-season. What JT and Zach have to realize is that NO player is bigger than the organization. This is about the TEAM, not individual honours and accomplishments. Were the Bills wrong in how they handled Bruce Smith and Thurman Thomas? How about the Giants with Michael Srahan? This stuff is all nonsense. Have a day for these guys when their careers are done and if they are really good we can have ponies and ice cream.

The Dolphins didn't think Taylor fit their scheme, so they didn't sign him. What NFL team signs players that don't fit their scheme? Taylor can't handle his old position anymore. He's now injury prone and to football old. Move on. Draft someone. Start the season.

Quick poll! Who's your first pick?

"Their football decisions were probably correct in both instances. Their people skills were lacking both times."


TEAM TUNA has no class!!! Alot of football knowledge but NO CLASS at all!!! Explain how we resign a suspended Ferguson, and a injured Pennington , but you don't want to resign the NFL's most active sack leader????????????????????????????????????????????????????? WHERE THEY DO THAT AT????????? And to top it off if the Dolphins had made an offer JT said he would've accepted it!!!!! THIS BS!!!!!!!


I'm glad you see the light on the Zach Thomas debacle ending. I called you on the radio once after it happened suggesting the team should have done something for him and you laughed at me, saying this is the NFL.

Ultimately it's really all about recognizing the humanity of another. Compassion and connection. It's all we got in the end. Thanks.

Everyone is complaining about how the dolphins have treated taylor... what about how taylor treated the dolphins... when he quit on the team to go dance...

Taylor used to be a great dolphin, but he is now a has-been... 7 sacks the past 2 years... thats not very good... Jake Long will bring the wood and manhandle little Jason Taylor...

It's all about class and it starts at the top. Ross should have stepped in and made the decision to sign JT. Joe Robie he will never be. Ross will pay for this in the end - Parcells will slip out the back door at the end of this year laughing all the way to the bank. The Dolphins will be 6-9 and at some point in time Ross will have to come to terms with his piss poor leadership. It's just not the Dolphins, it's sports in general these days. It's difficult for players to buy into any of that team sprit bullsh*t when they know at anytime the ownership will kick them to streets when it fits their needs.

Zach Thomas hit the nail on the head.

Compassion should be the very last thing expected from anybody in this business.

People skills need improvement, yes.

But Jason Taylor didn't help himself by declining a meeting with the Tuna when Tuna was ready to give him an extension.

Then it was handed to Ireland, which was working on signing him after the draft. Patience my favortie Taylor, patience.

This was a case were both sides were wrong, not the organization, both sides let egos play a big role.

Not only that but FAT Rex has an ulterior motive in this; to take advantage of the ego situation, step in and steal Taylor so it looks like we're a terrible organization and Taylor isnt a loyal dolphin. That's Rex's motive and the more the local media feeds into this then the more you are playing on the Jet's side.

Taylor felt disrespected, Tuna felt disrespected first and the Jets just bought their way to try and damage the Miami Dolphins on and off the field.

Are you as REAL Fins fans gonna aloow this FAT three-chinned coach to work us like that??

Let's move on get younger on Defense and just wreck the JETS!!!!

I appreciate the moves Parcells has made to make this team better and I'm glad he's in charge. However, right now, with Zach retired and JT moving on to the Jets, they are more "Miami Dolphins" to me than Bill Parcells ever will be.
I hope Parcells does great things for the team and puts the Fins in the Superbowl. And when he's done and decides to leave I hope he's shown the door in the same manner, with the same lack of respect and appreciation that Zach and JT were shown.

D@MN the Compassion.................we just want a little CLASS!!!!

6-9 ey?? How about with Taylor on our roster? Superbowl??

The offensive game plan when playing the Jets should be to have Ronnie and Ricky run at JT as much as humanly possible. He never was very good at stopping the run, now he just sucks as far as that is concerned. Can't wait to see his face when he's standing on the sidelines, hands on hips, waiting to get into the game.

JT, you messed up bad on this one, man. You and your agent have handled this whole process wrong. There were going to be lots of teams out there who would have come calling AFTER the draft. Your going to be stuck in New York now for the next two years. I'm betting you can't stay healthy, your ineffective and I think it's 50/50 whether you even play to the end of your contract. It's going to seem like Washington all over again for you.

JHS first u didn't know how many Prime Time Games we have and now u predict we go 6-9, on a 16 game schedule...6+9=15?? where's the last game LMFAO. You have ZERO clue about football do you??? Please keep posting, I can laugh all day with everything you get wrong!!

After having time to think about it Zach said:

"“It’s part of the business...I like their philosophy where they get rid of a guy a year too early rather than a year too late. They did the same with me, and you see that they were right. But how easy is it going to be if you do it the right way?”

His main complaint is how they handle what they do, not how they do it.

I'm sorry. I was ironing my Dolphins t shirt and must have missed the part in the article where you write about how many rings JT won here to justify not showing up to do OTA's while he ahem... danced *. Oh... well ok... he didn't win any of those? Wow. Well ok, how many playoff games did the team win while he was here? Surely there must have been a bunch of those to justify Bill Parcells bending over, grabing his ankles for the player and agent before rolling out the money truck and giving an 'honorary' roster spot, right? Oh...Miami won 3 playoff games in the 11 ** years he was here? Well ok maybe thats not a ton, but surely the team got past the wild card and disional rounds and at least represented right? You know, like say the lowly Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship Game in '91 under (puke) Wayne Fontes, right? What??? You mean to tell me Miami, with that dominant player, over that stretch, never won more than 3 wild card games against Buffalo, Seattle (a 20-17 squeaker- thanks Dan) or against the Colts in OT (thanks Lamar Smith - 209 yards on 40 carries). Really???? I am confused now. Well, I'm not sure how, but this team is surely going to miss the 'player' . I don't know how the team will ever reach the level of greatness of backing into the playoffs w/ 9-7 records and either losing or less 3 out of 11 times, beating similarly bad teams before getting pummelled in the next round. Like signing a 13 million (ok it will be 3 mil when he's cut -pre bonus in 2011) dollar contract, its going to be tough (tears pouring out now) but somehow we will have to manage.

[* According to a prominent Miami newpaper,
'Jason stopped by the Dolphins facilities to visit team mates participating in voluntary workouts in between his tapings of Dancing with the stars, and got the cold shoulder from Bill Parcells. “Taylor walked into a room where Parcells was watching tape, and Parcells ignored him. He looked at Taylor and went back to his work without saying a word.”Taylor was reportedly “incensed” by the gesture.' ]

{** Someone erroneously wrote (http://miamiherald.typepad.com/dolphins_in_depth/2010/04/taylor-to-address-media-tonight.html) that "Jason Taylor played 13 years for the Miami Dolphins". He was drafted in 1997 and played 11 seasons for Miami before signing with the Washington in 2008 where he played for 1 season before being released and resigning with the Dolphins where he played for 1 season. 11+1 is not = 13. ]


Jamillion commented on 'Thomas: Dolphins have to show respect' got to agree with what you've said. It's important that the fins move forward as an organization.

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