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Zach Thomas to retire as a Miami Dolphin

As I posted on my twitter feed earlier this morning, Zach Thomas is expected to sign a one-day contract with the Dolphins today and then retire as an all-timer.

Readers know I've advocated on this blog for that to happen. The Dolphins are showing excellent judgment, good public relations, and frankly, that they have blood in their veins and that their heart isn't as cold as some might think.

Great job by Miami!

Thomas, 36, played for the Dolphins from 1996 through 2007. He was elected to seven Pro Bowl games. He recorded 1,075 career tackles. His final year in Miami was a frustrating one hampered by concussions and auto accidents with Patriots fans. He spent his final two seasons in Dallas and Kansas City.

His rookie year, Thomas was so good so fast that coach Jimmy Johnson told veteran Jack Del Rio -- now the Jaguars head coach -- he had no future in Miami and that he was getting cut because a young, unknown, short linebacker was simply better.

This is a good day to be a Dolphins fan.

In the comments section please leave your favorite Zach Thomas memory. I might actually use it in a column.

Also, do you think the Dolphins should retire Thomas' number? Do you think Thomas belong in the ring of fame or honor or whatever the Dolphins call it? And do you think Thomas is a Hall of Fame prospect?

[BLOG NOTE: Interesting that only minutes after I blogged about Karlos Dansby not being the focus of any attention and finally getting some notice, the Dolphins announced today's press conference with Zach. So if you haven't seen the Dansby blog post feel free to click for it.] 

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Met Zach a few years ago at a signing in New Jersey. A great football player and even greater human being. Congrats Zach!!!!

Go on YouTube and look up Thomas Cracks Coles saw it live, I was freaking out. Also when I was in elementary school probably in about 2004 we were learning to write business letters and I wrote one to him and mailed it asking for an autograph and telling him how I loved how great he was, any way I got a huge picture and autograph in the mail after and a thankyou. Needless to say I'e been rooting for him since, BEST LB EVER.

Since were strolling down memmory lane, Please somebody please post some memmories of some memorable Super Bowl performances that Zack was involved in, I'll even settle for a brisk walk of a few playoff runs where Zack was instrumental in a win.

Respect Zack for what he was...a Very good Linebacker on a talent starved team. He did not make other players around him better. He coudn't get to the quarterback and somebody had to make those tackles...why not him. Thats how the defense is designed for the MLB to lead the team in tackles.

I like Zach and he had more heart than most but lets stop writing his euology and put his carrer in perspective.

my favorite memories is of his bloody elbows and his heart and going from sideline to sideline to make tackles

Zack was great but no he's not a hall of famer and no to retiring his number. There were many linebacks before him that we should consider first.
Does any one remember AJ Duhe
Come on I never heard a word about him for anything and he singled handed won the playoff game against the jets. He would come way before Zack. What about Nick Boniconti. Two superbowl rings and again no mention. I can go on for hrs. Let just say Miami has had some great linebackers and when were talking about Zack we need to remember who came before him

Better late than never on Zach Thomas #54 should be retire and yes on hall of fame too. He should be honored on the jets game.

I am glad he will retire a Dolphin. He was as good as it gets when young. But don't retire his number unless they invent some new ones.

Lets see him make the HOF before we talk about retiring his number. ZT was great, maybe my favorite Phin ever, but we have a number of HOFers who dodn't have their numbers retired. Its a big deal.

Zach, you are a Dolphin, and we love you. Congratulations to a future hall of famer and great person.

Best Zach Thomas moment is when he intercepted the ball and did an awkward front flip into the end zone lol I thought he was gonna break his neck.

Zach definitely in the ring of honor!

Zach Thomas was arguably the best NFL linebacker in history, even after everyone thought he would not even make the roster. Maybe a Special Teamer with Larry Izzo!!! LOL If the sheer numbers in his 12 years with the Miami Dolphins does not get him a bid, then the fact that he exemplefied the hard work, desire (HEART), dedication, and leadership it takes to be an Elite player in the NFL should...

As for the Jersey Number being retired, I agree with others saying that is unlikely as there are some HOF players before him that did not even get that honor... We will see in five years about HOF selection and then work on getting number retired!!!

Wow Armando. If it wasn't for you what would've become of Zach Thomas. I guess he has you to thank.

I say retire his number and place him in the ring of fame. Zack embodied the true Dolphins spirit. He exemplified true class on and off the field.

Armando is the real GM of the Dolphins. Thanks for letting Dansby get some shine.

Zach is a hall of famer, he will be in the ring of fame, right next to jason taylor one day, and he will always be a fan favorite as, and one of the many faces of the franchise.

You will always see people rockin their Zach Thomas Jerseys in the stadium every sunday.

Favorite moment - Thanksgiving Day game against the Cowboys in 1999, Emmitt Smith breaks one with open field to the end zone. Emmitt never made it...and no, it wasn't a safety or a corner who caught him. It was #54.

Favorite ZT moment? Playing the Colts.
They break the huddle and Manning starts barking out changes to the Offense. Zack starts barking out changes to the Defense. Manning makes some more changes, backing away from center. Zack counters with changes of his own. Finally, the Colts take a time-out cause the play clock's about to expire! I think the Colts had to use all of their time-outs that day! That's the kind of LB Zack Thomas was!

Congrat Zach Thomas! One of the all time Dolphin greats. Yes belongs in the ring of fame and maybe the hall of fame? If you look at his body of work he has the numbers as good as any in the hall at the middle. Not winning a ring hurts but he left it all on the field.
Good luck to Zach Thomas hope he has a good life in spite of his recent concussions.

This is great I am glad to see the dolphins man up and correct and error zach Thomas is and will always be a miami dolphin I remember watching him when I was little wanting to grow up and be like him so little but knocking everybodys heads in he deserves his number retired and a spot n the dolphins hall of fame and the nfl hall of fame too he is the best Miami dolphins linebacker ever!! And he ain't no trader like Taylor

Thank you Zach for playing the game for the love of it. It was fabulous to watch you and you are a true Dolphin. Go Waterboy. Very best wishes and may the Good Lord bless you!

My favorite Zach Thomas moment is definetly his rookie season against the patriots when Zach completely destroyed patriots rb Sean Jefferson.. That hit that left Jefferson snoring on the field opened everyone's eyes to this short high motor MLB. If the phins are an organization of class they should definetly honor Zach by retiring his #54.. Throughout his career he always ran neck and neck with Ray Lewis for most tackles and we al know Ray is a future hall of famer, so why not Zach Thomas?

Love the Titans flip, the Coles hit, the Raiders INT TD, & also Tex Tech vs Tex A&M game winning INT TD, but my favorite Zach moment was when he criticized Ireland on the air and said the Fins need a better frontman for the organization! You know it's gotta burn the ex-kicker GM to hear that!

Hall Of Fame, Yes; Ring Of Honor, Yes (during halftime of Jets game, talk about getting the fans pumped up!!!); Retire #, No (our kid's idols will be #154 or #113, and that's just wierd)!

Bravo Zach! And bravo Miami.

Ask the Jaguars Head Coach if Zach belongs in the HOF!

It is definitely the right thing to do. I think he gave 100+ percent every game and I don't think he knew what the term "take a play off" meant. Ring of honor...Yes, Hall of Fame...that's pretty lofty and would require him to be in the same circle as some pretty awesome LBs. I would love it though!!

1) Sept 1996, I'm watching the Phis play the Pats. This MLB, drops deep and comes up, full speed, on a WR running a crossing route. As soon as Zach hit him, I was like, this guy's hurt (the WR)...Concussion, carted off. No other WRs went over the middle the rest of that game.

2) The game against Indy when Marino threw TDs to Gadsden....Manning would audible, Zach would announce the audible, then Manning would re-audible, and Zach would announce that play too!

Favorite other Zach story is the time he went to a swanky spot on South Beach and someone gave him their keys because they thought he was the valet!

Most memorial was against the titans i think on a monday night game to open the season when he ran back an interception to seal the game, doing a forward flip into the endzone (and barely making the flip without breaking his neck)!!

Zach was the reason I started to play football and believe me living in England it was hard gradualy over the years I have being moved to de but still he is my hero and thanks to zach I'm now making my debut for great Britain at the age of 18 thanks Zach hall of fame here you come

I wish the ride wasn't over but damn it good. Good luck and thank you so much for the memories. God bless buddy.

My die-hard "Bears Fan" friend named his 2nd son Zach Thomas Olson and not Dick Butkus Olson OR Mike Singletary Olson!

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