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.
The Dolphins are expected to release Thomas (foot) on Wednesday, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports.
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.
Thomas (foot) is expected to be cut by Miami in a move to clear up salary cap space, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports.
Thomas only had 41 receptions for 388 yards and three scores before being placed on injured reserve due to the foot injury. If the Dolphins were to part ways with Thomas they would save $6.6 million against the salary cap. The Dolphins would be forced to acquire a TE if they were to make this move either via the draft or free agency.
The Dolphins placed Thomas on injured reserve Wednesday with a foot injury.
With Thomas set to sit out Miami's last two games of the season, Anthony Fasano and MarQueis Gray are in line to head the team's tight end corps. Though Thomas is under contract with the Dolphins for the 2018 season, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald believes that the tight end has played his last game with the team. The 29-year-old, who finishes the 2017 campaign with 41 catches for 388 yards and three scores in 14 games, hasn't been a top-shelf fantasy option since his last two seasons with Denver in 2013 and 2014, when he logged back-to-back 12-touchdown efforts.
Thomas snagged two of four targets for 11 yards during Monday's 27-20 win over the Patriots. He fumbled during the contest.
Thomas entered Monday with at least 50 yards or a touchdown in four of five games. He narrowly missed keeping that streak going when he and Jay Cutler failed to connect on a deep ball down the left sideline in the third quarter. The veteran tight end is clearly improving from earlier in the season, but at the same time, he had just one more offensive snap, 43 to 42, than fellow tight end Anthony Fasano.
Thomas brought in all three of his targets for 20 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 35-9 win over the Broncos.
The veteran tight end touched up his old squad for a score when he brought in a nine-yard touchdown pass from Jay Cutler in the second quarter. Thomas has found the end zone on three occasions over the last five contests and seemingly carved out a modest but consistent role as a secondary option in the passing game.
Thomas brought in five of six targets for 52 yards in Sunday's 35-17 loss to the Patriots.
The veteran tight end continues to emerge in the latter half of the season, with Sunday's performance marking his third game over the last four in which he's logged at least four catches. Thomas also has his only two touchdowns on the season over that span, as well as exactly half of his 34 receptions. The 29-year-old has proven he can still get downfield when given the opportunity and is likely to have an extra bit of motivation against some of his old Broncos teammates in a Week 13 matchup.
Head coach Adam Gase relayed that he expects to get Thomas more involved in the offense as the season continues, Roy Cummings of Florida Football Insiders reports. "Yeah, with Julius, I didn't get him going enough early in the season," Gase said this week. "But I feel like we've gotten [back] into a little bit more of a groove with him now, and I still think there are some other things we can do."
Through the first seven games of the season, Thomas accumulated 17 receptions (on 28 targets) for 168 yards and no touchdowns. After a 40-0 shellacking at Baltimore in Week 8, Gase reevaluated the offense and noticed a lack of reliance on Thomas. Since then, Thomas has been targeted four times in the red zone, finally reaching the end zone twice in the midst of 12 catches (on 17 targets) for 122 yards across three contests. Assuming his usage remains consistent, he'll aim to keep up the pace Sunday versus a Patriots defense that has conceded just 10 catches for 88 yards and no scores to tight ends over the last four outings.
Thomas had four receptions for 30 yards as the Dolphins lost to the Buccaneers, 30-20, on Sunday.
Thomas was only targeted four times during the contest but reeled each one in. He hasn't been the red-zone threat that some were hoping for after being reunited with Adam Gase, which seems unlikely to change in the near future. Now that bye weeks have completed, Thomas is a candidate to fall out of favor in the majority of formats.
Thomas caught two of five passes for eight yards and a touchdown during Monday's 45-21 loss to Carolina.
Thomas got Miami on the board late in the first half with a two-yard shovel pass for a score. It was Thomas' second touchdown in as many games after opening the season on a seven-game scoreless run. He's also been a bigger factor in the offense with 13 targets in two weeks after averaging just four per game to start the season. The Jay Cutler-Thomas connection seems to be picking up steam, but is Miami's offense a unit you really want to hang your hat on at this point?
Thomas caught six of eight targets for 84 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 27-24 victory over the Raiders.
Thomas put together one of his finest performances since his days in Denver on Sunday, setting season highs in nearly every receiving category and finding paydirt for the first time this season. With that said, this is the first time Thomas has seen more than five looks all year and just the sixth time he's been targeted in the red zone. With a wideout trio of Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills around to compete for looks on any given night, it'll be hard to rely upon Thomas to produce at a similar clip going forward.
Thomas caught two of three passes for three yards in Thursday's 40-0 loss to the Ravens.
Thursday marked a new low for what has been a disappointing reunion for Thomas with head coach Adam Gase. The former touchdown machine has topped 30 yards just once in seven games and is scoreless thus far this season. He might be able to fare better against a shoddy Oakland defense this week, but he might see some competition for playing time with Anthony Fasano, who has caught five passes over the past two weeks and tied Thomas with 36 offensive snaps Thursday.
Thomas (knee) was a full participant in practice Tuesday, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports.
Thomas was limited during Monday's walkthrough but now should be cleared for Thursday's matchup with the Ravens. The starting tight end is coming off a season-high 58 receiving yards against the Jets but will have to adapt to catching balls from Matt Moore this week with Jay Cutler (ribs) expected out.
Thomas was a limited participant in Monday's practice due to a knee injury, Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald reports.
After playing 39 snaps and finishing with a season-high 58 receiving yards on three catches in Sunday's win over the Jets, Thomas was likely restricted for maintenance purposes more than anything. It's a positive sign he was at least able to take the field on a limited basis Monday, and if he's upgraded to a full participant in team sessions Tuesday or Wednesday, he'll be in little danger of missing Thursday's tilt with the Ravens.
Thomas snatched three of four targets for 58 yards in Sunday's 31-28 win over the Jets.
Thomas started off his day with a nice 25-yard grab. The play was for more yardage than Thomas had recorded in three of five whole games in 2017. The veteran tight end has yet to score in 2017 and Sunday was his first outing with at least 30 yards. Adam Gase's attempts to rekindle the star that he coached in Denver have thus far been unsuccessful. Continue to sit him until further notice.
Thomas snatched three of five targets for 22 yards in Sunday's 20-17 win over Atlanta.
The receptions and targets both matched season highs. There was some hope that head coach Adam Gase could coax some of the magic he found in quarterback Jay Cutler in Chicago and Thomas in Denver, but that has not been the case thus far this season as Miami's offense has sputtered more often than not. Thomas remains a quality red-zone target, despite having not scored a touchdown thus far this season, but he doesn't seem to have the same catch-and-run ability of his earlier days, and it's difficult for him to make too much of an impact with so many options outside for the Dolphins. The fact that he's averaged just 21.6 yards per game thus far this season should be proof enough to leave him on your bench or waiver wire.
Thomas nabbed one of four targets for 15 yards in Sunday's 16-10 win over Tennessee.
There was a feint hope that, upon being reunited with his old play caller, Adam Gase, Thomas could return to his dominant Denver-era form. That hasn't been the case in Miami as the entire Dolphins' offense has struggled to find a rhythm. There's little hope for Thomas to make much of an impact with so many other weapons in Miami and quarterback Jay Cutler averaging just 177 yards per game to start the season.
Thomas brought in two of four targets for 29 yards in Sunday's 20-0 loss to the Saints in London.
Thomas was modestly involved for the third time in as many games, checking in third in targets behind Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker. The veteran tight end has eight receptions for 71 yards in the first three contests, confirming his role as a secondary option in head coach Adam Gase's system. Thomas will look to up his production when the Dolphins tangle with the Titans in Week 5.
Thomas caught three of five targets for 16 yards in Sunday's 20-6 loss to the Jets.
Thomas logged just 59 percent of offensive snaps, after handling 96 percent in another three-catch performance the previous week. He actually drew more targets despite the reduction in playing time, but there wasn't much production to be had on a dismal day for the Miami offense. Regardless of snap count, Thomas seems to be nothing more than a complementary target in the Dolphins' passing attack as the team prepares for Week 4 against the Saints. His eight targets place him a distant fourth on the team behind wideouts Jarvis Landry (26), Devante Parker (19) and Kenny Stills (15).