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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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I understand what you're saying but come on.

JT is a jet. I hate any and all jets!

The draft is tomorrow, have a good strong drink and give it a rest.

let's only talk draft .the jt stuff is over played .

For all you guys whining about "class", here's a question for you: How much class did Bill Belichick have towards guys such as Asante Samuel, Richard Seymour, Mike Vrabel, Ty Law, etc etc...?? Not a lot apparently. But the Patriots have won some Super Bowls while we haven't done zilch. Ask the fans in Boston is they miss any of those guys, you'll see what their answer is. If the Dolphins win the Super Bowl next year let's say, is anyone really going to remember this whole Jason Taylor saga?? I'd say probably not. So get over it. There is no class in football, it's a business. Business and $$ have no feelings. End of the story.

super bowl, hilarious. and if the jets win the super bowl?

To win a Super Bowl, you need a QB. Now you think the Jets will win a SB with Sanchez?? LOL!!!

I really respect Zack. I never did like JT. There was just something about him that said, I play for me. I might not be right but he is gone and I am not shedding any tears. Zack should be signed for one day and given a golden handshake. At least give him that much. A couple of concussions and years of headaches to follow.

you freaks who cant see how classless this all is also have ZERO class!!
i'm still a dolphin fan but my front office is an embarrassment to me and my team. i will still pull for my team and be excited about the season but this was handled with below zero class and there is no advantage as an operational function for it to be like this other than - they just really dont care and thats sad. it IS about more than just winning. how we win is important and how we treat our players and especially out legends.


I said it last week and i guess I'll have to say every week until the season starts - the Dolphins WILL win more games than the Jets this year.
The Jets are taking a couple steps back this year, believing the hype, not working hard - thinking it is just going to happen for them, etc.They have always been a non-factor and will continue to be a non-factor this year.


Will you please outline what part of the whole thing was handled without class?

If Brett Favre was let go by the Packers, that means anyone can go somewhere at any time. That's just the business side of football. Favre won Super Bowls with Green Bay and was still let go. Taylor never won anything and he was let go. What's the difference? How many of you were still upset at Parcells for trading him to Washington for a second round pick after we finished the season 11-5?? Nobody would even mention his name. Winning makes you forget a lot of things. Parcells made a move not very popular with the fans, but if the team wins, all is forgotten. That's just the way it is. The pressure is now on Parcells and Ireland to have a great draft and get the team back on the winning track.

non factor last year? they went to the afc title game

I will say it again, Happy trails Jason Taylor. Would you please retire.

I can't wait until tomorrow.

ok pistol and who do u want drafted, say now so u dont kiss parcells ass and act like u wanted whoever he drafts.

There's not a whole lot of player loyalty in the league now anymore. Because of that, I'm not one for dishing out hard-earned money for player jerseys. I have three Dolphin jerseys hanging in my closet, and two of them belong to Taylor and Thomas...these are sad and embarrassing times to be associated with the Dolphin front office. Great football minds, but don't have a clue when it comes to people skills.

We sucked with him - we can suck without him. The bottom line is - its not like the guy led us to three Super Bowl titles or whatever. He never won a damn thing!! I'm not blaming him for the team sucking but only champions can be held in the highest esteem.

Check the facts - I'll bet Parcells let Lawrence Taylor say good-bye. He won championships - being real good isn't good enough - I know it is a team game but this is getting ridiculous!
I mean the frickin Saints won the Super Bowl - the Saints!?!?*!^#!&&!*$!&*!
You have to be kidding me and we're stil stuck on 1973.
I'm going to stick by the trifecta until they prove that they can't win the Super Bowl. I'm tired of being good or real good.

Jason Taylor, Zach Thomas, Dan "The Man" Marino and Louis Oliver are my All-Time Favorite Dolphins!!!! ...The dolphins should have done it in a much more professional manner ... but at the end i'm still a Dolphins Fan lets go Phins beat the D.A.M.N. WETS!!

The team just traded for one of the most dangerous offensive players in the NFL. They signed the best free agent linebacker on the market. They will continue loading up on defense on drat day. Chad Henne is only going to be better having an entire season of experience under his belt. Brian Hartline will be better. Devone Bess will be better. Vontae Davis and Sean Smith will be better. Cameron Wake will be better. We sill have Randy Starks. Hopefully Merling and Langford will get better. How can all that not be exciting?

Spina bifida is a developmental birth defect caused by the incomplete closure of the embryonic neural tube. Some vertebrae overlying the spinal cord are not fully formed and remain unfused and open. If the opening is large enough, this allows a portion of the spinal cord to protrude through the opening in the bones. There may or may not be a fluid-filled sac surrounding the spinal cord. Other neural tube defects include anencephaly, a condition in which the portion of the neural tube which will become the cerebrum does not close, and encephalocele, which results when other parts of the brain remain unfused.

bill, I would first like to trade down and pick up a second rounder from Phili or whoever if it's possible. If it's with the 12th, I would like Morgan, Hughes, or Pierre-Paul. We need a rusher. For the record, the only ass that I kiss is my woman's ass.

Come on coach Tony, the troops need a first class motivating like only you can give. Get those man jugs a bouncin - give us a great fist pump - not just a 1st down fist pump this calls for a field goal fist pump. If that doesn't work bring in your 36 year old captain who is suspended for the first 8 games. LMFAO.

toss your ladies salad huh, i like it

Toss it like it's hot.

Never fear SoFla there is another Pat White just waiting to be discovered by your FatFecta. I'm sure they will make you all happy with their collective genious. Hey the whale might actually win a playoff game for the first time since 1998. Thats right morons your genius hasn't won squat since 1998 when he was - with the JETS!

I will toss any Dolphin fans salad for free!!

and my Jets havent won anything since....1969!!!! holy sh"tz, im stupid and that fat fu"k ryan isnt gonaa do it either

I'll miss Jason Taylor, He looks great in Aqua and Orange, not sure how he'll look in puke green. A Shame.

Rex is too busy trying to get that damn lap band off to concentrate on football.

As a Nurse in Manhattan I can tell you that by the beginning of the season Rex Ryan should be down to 240lbs from his current weight of 330 lbs.

The next question will be what to do with all the extra skin.

Though one big side effect is Gall stones about 6 months after the band is surgically installed, so look for rex to be side-lined around September,You guys heard it here 1st from me.

Fire up the fans REX, we will bring out OUR new linebacker JT!!! UH 36 years old, How bout LT!! UH 35 OK OK Cromartie!! uh 34 SH"T JUST FORGET IT

Pistol,Maybe he can donate it to a burn unit, he'll have a lot of extra skin.

Unfortunately there is no cure on the horizon for his diarrhea of the mouth.

Ashley, I think I would prefer to be horribly disfigured.

Maybe he can make a punter with the extra skin.

Maybe he could make a nice wallet or a pair of boots.

Come on coach Tony lets get those OLBs going! Wake, Torbor, Anderson, etc. This is the bright future in SoFla!

Just imagine the fear in the QBs eyes when he sees those two studs Langford and Merling (bwaaaahahahahahahaha) on the edge and then scans the LBs and has to contend with Wake & Anderson (excuse me again bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahhahahah).
Dont forget about the fearsome tandem of Solia and his second half juice sub. Who needs Porter and Taylor when you can construct such a feared pass rush. BWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHHA.

Blah, Blah, Blah.

Win games. That is the standard that is set.

odin, I hate the Jets too, it just doesn't make any sense. I'll repeat, and it's really the only point that means anything:


end point


"the team by the way, would not consider me as a commentator because I'm not enough of a homer."

Your not enough of alot of things Mando.... miss you Zack.

Hey Tortured,

Keep mouthing off now, pal....you'll be quiet after your 2002 All Star team of Jets goes down to us TWICE again this year!! Flap your gums all you want, man because you won't have a thing to talk about after another butt-kicking from our guys!

And YOU'RE not very proficient at English, Jets Suck.

By the way, the guy you miss is Zach, not Zack.

Mr. Ross and his three servants/stooges have no respect for a class act like JT. Karma is the great equalizer. What goes around comes around. The three stooges are going to get exactly what they deserve. The saddest part of this whole scenario is that the Dolphins actually need Taylor. Look at their outside linebackers. Who are they? Cameron Wake? No experience. Charlie Anderson? Please. Quentin Moses? Who? You mean to tell me JT doesn't deserve a roster spot. JT can't make the team but useless Pat White is a lock. Pathetic.

Zach Thomas needs to shut up. Seriously. JT didnt show Parcells or this regime and respect when they first came in here. He went dancing instead. He didnt even know if he wanted to be on the team because they were coming off a 1-15 season and he wanted to play for a contender.

Zach Thomas has had way too many concussions if he believes JT was disrespected. What is his whining going to accomplish?? In the eyes of a TRUE Dolphin fan, not the disloyal butt hurt bandwagon ones that are on here daily, I am getting sick of him trashing the Dolphins because of how he thinks they mistreated Taylor. What in the hell do they want??? An apology?? Get real. This is a business. Marino moved on, Shula moved on, no one came out and defended how badly Jimmy treated Marino.

Taylor set up his own demise. He should have shown this regime more respect than he did when they came here expecting him to committ instead of choosing to dance. He should have extended when they offered. It is his own damn fault!!!!!

Yes we will see how the 3-4 fairs with an average at best NT, no pass rush, and no safety. Dansby will be useless just like Crowder was last year unless there is a huge upgrade at NT. After a month of your current crop of OLBs you will all be begging for JT and Porter (I guess 15 sacks is easy to replace in Miami with your depth at OLB).

Gary P, then go be a Jets fan and dont come on to this site anymore. Go join up with their legions of fans since you obviously were just a fickle fan of the Dolphins to begin with. Why not give JT head while you are at it since he is the most important thing to you when it comes to football.

biggs13. you dont know squat about football. Zach was treated like any other player would be on decline. He was released because he could not perform at his normal dominant level. And the Dolphins were right in doing so. Why keep someone around if they cant perform at the level expected of them?? You are an idiot if you think they should just keep players around when they are not producing. He did nothing with Dallas or KC. He needs to keep his piehole shut because he is coming off as a disrespectful crybaby like JT is.

You on the other hand are just some butt hurt JT fan. Not a Dolphins fan. So go get your JT jersey, cuddle up with it and suck your thumb and cry a river somewhere else other than this board on the internet.

I am sick of reading this crap. Goodbye Taylor. You were great, thanks for the memories but accept reality that the Dolphins are moving on. Same with your butt hurt lesion of traitor bandwagon pretend Dolphin incognito JET fans. Take them with you while you are at it.

with all due respect to Zach Thomas, i will never forget the way the D-bag of his brother in law played us all when he preferred to go "dancing with the stars" 2 or 3 years ago... The only reason he came back was bc he wanted to improve his image.. simple as that... in my book, he does't deserve to be in the Fins ring of honor... period!

I can't believe ZT went to bat for JT, when he knows this is a business and JT didn't want to wait for the Fins to make him a formal offer. If he wanted to stay here for anything, how come he didn't sign the contract he was offered in Nov 2009?

I think the press confrence should be from the fans and the media who constantly trash this team and the whole organization. You all had no respect or appreciation for Shula, or Marino. You just have no loyalty to this team whatsoever. So how is it possible that you can expect management to show loyalty to beloved players, or to a media outlet or fanbase that has constantly trashed players in the past and present?? Does it occur to any of you losers (fans and media) that you caused all of this?? Maybe if the team felt more embraced, then the management might be more open to embracing the fans, history, and the players much more. All this trashing makes you all look like are a bunch of fools. This organization owes Zach Thomas nothing. They need to stop thinking that this organziation did the same thing Jimmy, Wannchoke or Shula did. They are lukewarm to icons, they treat players the same. They dislike the media and the fans because of the constant trashing and drama. Who wants to win for losers like that?? I wouldnt blame them and if I were any of you, i would feel very much shameful. You all caused this so you cant be too mad about how players get treated when you all have treated our legends the same way by forcing them out the door with your nasty comments about them. Making them feel unwanted. So you get what you ALL deserve. Good riddance.

There is a right way and there is a wrong way, and as big of a fin fan that I am, the finz "BLEW IT" Sorry. I have been a fan since most of you were in diapers, and I have been with them all the way, but not having any comunication with players is off the board. The guy had to find out what he was going to do, at least let him know if he was going to be a Dolfin, not hang him by a thread, and if you don't get what you want during the draft then sign him? that's BS...Sorry finz you are losing your name for what you are known for! your not a "team" but a Factory of Players...

You know I have never posted on this site, although I have followed Dolphin news on the Miami Herald since I was in college in 1996. I remember when the Dolphins drafted Troy Vincent, Tim Bowens, Marco Coleman, Sammie Smith and his fumbling, traded for Bobby Humphrey from the Broncos, that huge game from Aaron Crave against the Chargers in the wild card game, Mark Higgs, Webb and Simms, a brusing FB in Paige, the first big FA signing in Keith Jackson, and then getting other Eagles in Keith Byars and Ron Heller (that guy was nasty, if you think Incognito is nasty). I can name players at every position for the past 20 years. I am posting because I am truly disappointed by the lack of the class demonstrated by the team that I have followed since 1984 when I saw my first Dolphins game in Wisconsin when I was 8 yrs old. You can't imagine how hard it is to be a Dolphins fan in Packer country. I have followed the Dolphins as I have moved all over the country, through medical school, residency, and beyond, and I have seen the organization "evolve", as it has struggled to define a consistent winning tradition in the post-Shula, post-Marino era. It is amazing how much time has passed since those iconic figures left the organization, and so did a culture of winning. I am all for winning now, and I feel that the current regime and quarterback give me something to watch and feel optomistic about for the first time in over 10 years. However, maybe I am naive, but I always thought that Shula and Marino carried themselves in a classy way and were great ambassadors of the organization. Currently we do not have any big names on this team, no ambassadors to signal what this organization stands for. The only big name is at the top....and its a very big fish, more specifically a tuna. All that the
organization has now to signal its values is the way it conducts business from the top, and.... the business that has been conducted is an embarrassment. I am truly embarrassed to admit that I am a Dolphins fan based on how they have treated Taylor and Thomas. Taylor came back because of loyalty, signed for less because of loyalty, and was actually one of the most productive players on a woeful defense. He played until the end of the whistle when the secondary was giving up big plays,losing games, and Porter was yapping his mouth yet failing to produce on most defensive plays. Bringing Taylor back would make the Dolphins better. Forget just about production, which he would bring...but mentorship, he could mentor anybody they brought in and teach young players on how to be professionals, how to work, how to approach the game. The whole thing is just very sad, and commenting on this issue is NOT living in the past, it is living in the PRESENT, because it is a commentary in the lack of integrity, loyalty, and class that the regime has signaled to the rest of the nation in how they conduct business. Do you sell your soul to make money? Do you compromise your integrity and ideals to advance in the world? I don't know, that is a personal choice....but it seems that the current regime has put winning and business above integrity,....which to me will always lead to hollow victories. I can't believe I am saying this, but just because JT is on the Jets, I hope the Jets beat the Dolphins in both games next year so he can feel validated that he made the right choice to not get treated like garbage after years of faithful and excellent service. I hope the current regime wakes up and decides to become a classy organization, because it is not one now.

Armando....your article, and Zach, are spot on. I am a LIFELONG (read...longer than Ireland has been in football and much longer than any of the big 3 have been in Miami). Players like Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor merit "extra". they should be granted more respect than guys who have played on the team for a couple of years. Parcells is a great football guy, from an X's and O's cold hearted point of view I like having him here. But, it's unfortunate, I don't think he is a very good human being. And Ireland, I have read things to the contrary, came across like a Parcells Lackey in this one. Jason didn't sign the "handshake deal" so we won't give him special treatment. Shame on my favorite team.

Enough Armando, please! The Dolphins didn't trade JT. He signed with the freakin' J-E-T-S! Should we have a going away party for a JET? JT is one who handled this wrong. The Dolphins claim they were straight with him. He could have waited, but he didn't. And, were the Jets really his only option? I doubt it. Well, now, he's a Jet -- I hope he loses 16 this season. Let's move on and celebrate what Parcells and Company are doing for this football team. Enough whining and crying!

Parcells is who he is. He was never one for class or loyalty. What bothers me is the owners...they should've stepped in...in a situation like this.

Yeah Zach and JT, where was YOUR loyalty when you quit on the GREATEST QB ever in a playoff game and allowed the Jags to run all over you?? Where was YOUR loyalty then??? If they want to talk about loyalty, they kicked that man in the teeth and showed him disrepect to allow him to go out that way. They quit on him and allowed him to be utterly EMBARRASSED on his last game as a pro. So I dont want to hear them whine about loyalty. Shut your pieholes guys. The man who deserved more loyalty and respect is the man YOU FAILED and his name is DAN MARINO. If anyone deserves an apology and a press conference from BOTH of these men it is HIM.

I will go to the stadium full of jet low-lives proudly wearing my 99.

Julie. It's 2010

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