Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Report: Patriots make offer to former Dolphins linebacker Thomas
ESPN.com news services
Always looking to turn another team's castoffs into their stars, the New England Patriots offered newly released and longtime Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas a contract Monday, according to a published report.
Thomas made New England the first destination on his offseason tour of free agency stops.
"We had a great visit in New England," Thomas' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told The Miami Herald in a text message Monday evening. "They offered him a contract and we will continue negotiations."
Next up for Thomas is a stop in New Orleans to visit with the Saints. On Wednesday, Thomas is expected to meet with the Cowboys.
Thomas, 34, was released by the Dolphins on Feb. 14 after playing in only five games in 2007. He missed most of last season because of concussions and migraines and was placed on injured reserve against his wishes in December because of nagging migraines, an after-effect of an Oct. 21 car crash.
Thomas' age doesn't appear to be an issue for the Patriots. Current New England linebacker Junior Seau is 39 while Tedy Bruschi is three months older than Thomas. Both Seau and Bruschi are free agents.
Thomas, a seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker and one of the most popular and productive players ever to wear a Dolphins uniform, was the 154th player chosen in the 1996 draft out of Texas Tech.
Thomas led the Dolphins in tackles 10 times during his 12-year stay in South Florida and is the franchise's all-time leader in that category by a wide margin. His 168 games is the most by any Miami defensive player.
Thomas was remarkably durable in his first 11 seasons, missing only 13 games, and recorded a career-best 165 tackles in 2006 -- an indication he wasn't exactly slowing down.
2007 Season Stats