MIAMI, Feb. 22 -- Thurman Thomas, a five-time Pro Bowl running back, was cut loose by the Miami Dolphins Thursday, clearing the way for him to rejoin the Buffalo Bills so that he can retire with the team he helped take to four Super Bowls.
The Dolphins also released wide receiver Tony Martin, who missed five games with a foot injury last season.
Thomas had asked the Bills to waive him so that he could retire as a member of the Bills.
This practice has been exercised often in the NFL. The San Francisco 49ers signed Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott and Roger Craig so they could retire as members of the franchise. The New York Giants did the same with Leonard Marshall and Bart Oates.
The 34-year-old Thomas has contemplated retirement since he tore the ACL in his right knee on Nov. 12 at San Diego.
"I appreciate the contributions that Thurman made to the Dolphins this past season, in addition to his professionalism," Miami coach Dave Wannstedt said. "We wish him well in whatever career decision he chooses to make."
After 12 productive years with the Bills, Thomas was waived last February and signed a three-year contract with Miami. Used primarily by the Dolphins as a third-down back, Thomas rushed for only 136 yards on 28 carries and caught 16 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown.
In his final season with the Bills, Thomas missed 10 weeks with a bruised kidney.
A second-round pick in 1988, Thomas ranks ninth all-time with 12,072 rushing yards and sixth in all-purpose yards with 16,532.
Martin caught 26 passes for 393 yards and no touchdowns in 10 games last season.
"I know that last season was a difficult one for Tony," Wannstedt said. "However, he has been a productive player for the Dolphins in the past, and the door is not closed on his possible return. We'll see what happens in the next few weeks."