Thomas has elected to retire as an NFL player in order to pursue a doctorate in psychology, NFL.com reports.
The 30-year-old can thus be crossed off the list of potential late summer free-agent additions at the tight end position. Thomas is coming off a 2017 season in which he logged 41 catches for 388 yards and three TDs in 14 games for the Dolphins. The 2011 fourth-rounder's playing career peaked in 2013-14, when he logged back-to-back 12-TD campaigns while with the Peyton Manning-helmed Broncos.
Thomas (foot) was officially released by the Dophins on Wednesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
As expected, the Dolphins cut Thomas at the beginning of the new league year after he caught 41 of 63 targets for 388 yards and three scores in 14 games in 2017. He only has one season with 500 or more receiving yards on his resume, and he hasn't found any real success since parting ways with the Broncos after the 2014 campaign. Set to turn 30 years old later this offseason, Thomas may struggle to find a starting job on the open market. It's unclear if the foot injury he suffered in December is still a concern.
Thomas has disappointed mightily since leaving Denver, despite seeing similar volume in stays with the Jaguars and Dolphins. In those three seasons, he averaged 9.6 YPC, versus 11.8 YPC during two years at the peak of his powers with the Broncos. On a similar note, his touchdown percentage dipped from 22.2 percent (24 TDs on 108 catches) to 10.2 percent (12 on 117) in those respective stretches. Wherever he lands as a free agent, the 29-year-old shouldn't have a problem earning a far amount of snaps. That said, Thomas' time as a top-tier tight end are in the distant past.
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