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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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LOL Zach and JT. Looks like Karma is coming back on you guys huh?? I hope JT never wins a Super Bowl since he gave up on Marino by QUITTING like his bro in law did. So karma is hell isnt it guys??? Maybe it is coming back at Taylor considering how him and ZACH BOTH treated Marino allowing him to go out the way they did by giving up and quitting as they did in that 62-7 playoff loss.

When their names are placed on the ring of honor we will honor them, when they both left it wasn't to retire, but instead to look for a superbowl somewhere else, Armando, didn't you write articles with both quoting how they were weighting their options when they BOTH had 1 year left on their last contracts, what's the difference, bottom line is JT not retiring and we are ignoring him, he instead is going to the stinking jets, I agreed with both decisions you can't use loyalty to blackmail teams into a contract, after all both legacies are filled with bunch of plays on losing efforts and for 7 years we could not stop ANYONE!! When the game was on the line, did we forget 8 straight L's against the jets leading in almost every game and the defense giving it up in the 4th quater, I say when they retire give them their dues and honor them, while they are still playing good bye good luck

Amen Zach, I'm ashamed to be a Dolphin fan today.

To Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor thank you for the hard work and great memories. I'm sorry the way the Dolphin organization treated you by not giving you the respect you both deserve. Both of you will always be Dolphins to me.

Thanks again for the great memories.

I agree with Zach! I've never been so ashamed to be a DolFan in my life the way a used to be great organization treats is HOF players. It's not the decision to cut Zach and Jason that burns me, but the way they continue to do it without CLASS! Parcels better realize that he going to have a lot of pissed off fans on his hands if he continues to treat his players like this! Not to mention his players har to realize he doesn't really care about them.
John A.

Yes, it is sad Zack and Jason were not treated well. But, the Dolphins are winning games and looks like they are going to win more. As for Zac and Jason, doesn't it go with the turf?

Zac is RIGHT ON...

Thanks for the many years of hard work,endless hours of rock solid preparation, and tenacious will to fill when it comes to stopping the run.

NOBODY filled the gaps and Kamikazed better than you man.

Sign him and ley him retire a Dolphin.

F the Dolphins (comming from a fan of 25 years).

I am tired of this BS.

When the classless idiots at the top LEAVE I may come back, until then I am DIVORCED from this pathetic lot.

I cant wait to see them have their new 'savior' at WR either blow his knee out ala Fred Barnett and/or Yatil Green or get suspended.

For 25 years I have given everything I have got (and most importantly MONEY) to support this team but with this latest crap its the straw that broke the camels back, I am DONE.

I am going to have fun rooting every Sunday against these fools until I see Ireland tuck his tail between his legs and run off.

Ireland reminds me of the dumb nerd at work that kisses the boss' butt 24/7 and is a douche bag to everyone else. You just want to punch him in the face.

Dolphins CZAR Bill Parcells has done what in his career won one superbowl as head coach and that was won due to a freakin kicker. Never understood the hire to begin with. I don't know why anyone would want to come play for this three chin, deep fried Twinkie eating, waddling duck of a jerk.

John hahahahahhahahahahah, that's funny, all except the divorce part..it's not the players fault bro, hate the boss's if you want, but the players need your support too man...MIA forever!!

Where was Ross during all of this? This so called lifetime dolphins fan should have intervened. He was probably too busy figuring what celebs were going to be at opening night.

what do you expect from 3 guys that the dolphins got from the dallas cowboys. the only tradition that bill parcells knows is to change jobs every 5 years. jeff ireland and tony sparano are parcells do boys. why are you surprised??

Thank you Zach for all your hard work and excellent play. You'll always be a Dolphin in my book, you and JT. Go Phins!

They won't make you a part of the radio team because most of the time your opinions are unfounded and if you sound terrible every time you're on the raid with Jorge Sedano. You don't have a radio voice.

*and you sound terrible on the radio with Jorge Sedano*

Zach, shut the hell up, You should have retired before the head injuries got the better of you.

At least you did not go to the jets. You guys were great, but you never accomplished anything of substance. Stop Whining.

Zach and Jason deserved better I am a lifetime dolfan but this was done very wrong by the front office Ross should step in on this because in my opinion this is the business side of things not the football side. Ross step up and retire Zach the right way as a dolphin!!

"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."

Think this said it all....YOU BETTER BRING IT BILL

When thing weren't going too well in Miami JT and Zach, for their own personal reasons, decided to leave for Washington and Dallas. Where was THEIR loyalty to the Dolphins. When we finally made the playoffs without them on our roster, JT wanted back, and still chose to be on Dancing With The Stars for his own financial gain, instead of attending workouts like the rest of the team. Let's face it, we were better off as a team without them. If you want to talk about loyalty, please see: Dan Marino. A REAL hall of famer, who won many playoff games and came up big in big games (not like JT and Zach, who managed to make other offenses seem great during important games). Marino could've played for Minnesota with Randy Moss as a weapon and could've even played for Tampa Bay which could've resulted in a championship, but he was loyal to the Dolphins, and called it a career. JT and Zach, don't preach loyalty at your convenience!

JT is a JETS

Unfortunately, football has been like this for years. Look how Detroit treated Barry Sanders! How about Joe Montana's last game as a Chief?!! Jerry Rice, the...RAIDER?!! Emmitt Smith, the ...CARDINAL!!!??? And its still happening, i.e. Brett Favre - the Viking. And Donovan McNabb the Redskin - both, mind you bitter divisional rivals. Yes, the Fins should give Zach his proper football-burial. And when JT retires...he too should be buried as a Dolphin.

Some of you need to bite your tongue when you talk about Zach Thomas. I don't see the big issue here. Let a Dolphins legend sign a 1 day freaking contract. Theirs no strategy here. No poker face. Sign his ass.

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