Miami Dolphins legendary linebacker Zach Thomas recently became a Hall of Famer after many years of waiting. Thomas is already a beloved member of the team’s history, but he recently revealed a story that will likely endear him to the team’s passionate fans even more.
Thomas said that he was offered an opportunity to join the New England Patriots, but declined the chance because he loved the Dolphins too much.
Zach Thomas choking up while saying he loved Dolphins fans so much he turned down an offer to play for the Patriots. Officially my all time favorite Dolphins player. #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/0KPl8vCR1P
— Alejandro Solana (@AlexMSolana) February 16, 2023
“He offered me,” Thomas said when looking back at when Bill Belichick offered him a spot on the Patriots roster. “And I said, ‘Let me think about it,’ and I slept on it and woke up that next morning and said, ‘Hell nah man. I can’t let down the fans.’ They got my back.”
The 49-year-old got choked up while trying to get through the end of the story. It’s a great reminder of just how passionate players often are about the game of football and the fans that love them.
Though Thomas played one season with the Dallas Cowboys, he will forever be remembered as a Dolphins star.
He played 12 seasons in Miami and finished with 1,640 combined tackles, 19.5 sacks, 16 forced fumbles, 17 interceptions and four touchdowns in his Dolphins career. At 5-foot-11, he was not the prototypical linebacker, but he used his agility, speed and incredibly high football IQ to disrupt opposing offenses for over a decade.
Despite his incredible resume, it did take some time for Thomas to finally enjoy the honor of being elected to the Hall of Fame. He had been named a finalist for four straight years prior to finally being elected in 2023.
He now joins the likes of Larry Csonka, Dan Marino, Jason Taylor and many more players who called Miami home and went on to join the Hall of Fame.
From his story alone, and the fact that he had to hold back tears when recounting it, it’s clear that the moment means a lot to Thomas.
Though Thomas decided to retire in 2010, many Dolphins fans surely still have some incredible memories of his playing days in South Florida. This story is likely to make those memories that much sweeter.