Former Dolphins Youth Cameron Wake Jersey , Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas retires from the NFL Thomas, 30, is closing out his seven-year NFL career, one that started as a fourth-round draft pick of the Denver Broncos back in 2011. While in Denver, Thomas emerged as one of the league’s most dangerous tight ends, especially in the red zone. During the 2013 and 2014 seasons, he accumulated a whopping 24 touchdowns, over 1,200 receiving yards, and 108 receptions while catching passes from Peyton Manning under then-offensive coordinator Adam Gase.Thomas turned that production into a five-year, $46 million contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars www.miamidolphinsteamonline.com , where injuries and poor quarterback play from Blake Bortles brought his numbers down to a sputtering low. After the 2016 season, the Jaguars top brass decided they’d overpaid for Thomas long enough and traded him to the Dolphins for a seventh-round draft pick.In Miami, the former Pro Bowler signed a new two-year contract. Both Thomas and Dolphins fans were hoping that being reunited with now-head coach Adam Gase would be enough to rekindle that spark that led Thomas to being a star in Denver. Unfortunately a combination of nagging injuries and horrendous quarterbacking from Jay Cutler proved to be insufficient fuel, and Thomas failed to become a useful weapon in Miami’s offense. The veteran looked slow on the field and was simply outmatched by more athletic defenders. Only on the hook for $1 million in guarantees, the team cut him loose this offseason.Thomas released a statement through The Players’ Tribune discussing his reasons for walking away from the game he’s played over the past seven years. “The ability to assist with the latest research being done on brain trauma and the pursuit to better understand CTE. To study it not just from the perspective of a psychologist or a clinician, but also as a person who has played for several years at the highest level, is something that excites me,” he wrote. “It fills me with a sense of purpose. It’s a way to help while growing intellectually that I had been searching for. I know I have so much to learn, but that’s what I’m most looking forward to.”Thomas is hoping that by making an impact, he can cement his legacy beyond football. “I believe helping others is what I’m supposed to be doing at this point in my life. Hopefully I can help by encouraging more of my peers to connect with who they are outside of the game. If ultimately that’s what I’m remembered for, I’d be very thankful.” The Dolphins again come out of a difficult loss with more questions than answers despite owning a winning record. The team has suffered a rash of injuries, more so through seven weeks than most teams do over the course of an entire season. Now Miami Dolphins T-Shirt , the Dolphins will head to Houston for a primetime showdown with a talented Texans team, and one player on Houston’s defense is sure to cause havoc.Each week of the 2018 season, I’m highlighting one player on the opposing team that Dolphins fans should be watching out for. This week, that player is Houston Texans defensive back Tyrann Mathieu.Fact CheckPosition: FSExperience: 6th seasonAge: 26Height/Weight: 5’9”, 185 lbsCollege: LSUStat ReviewIn Mathieu’s first season with the Texans (he spent the previous five with the Arizona Cardinals), the uber-talented defensive back has been a very productive cog in Romeo Crennel’s defense. Mathieu has been placed back in his natural free safety position after being moved around more in Arizona’s secondary, and he is thriving as the center fielder in a dangerous defense. Through seven games, the former Pro Bowler has 39 tackles, five passes defended, two interceptions, and a sack.With J.J. Watt and co. making life difficult for quarterbacks up front, Mathieu has been reaping the benefits of errant throws from pressured passers. Miami’s o-line keeping Brock Osweiler upright will be a must in this contest to prevent Mathieu from having a field day.Key MatchupsThe Dolphins are suddenly thin in the pass-catching department. Albert Wilson looks to be out for an extended period of time Miami Dolphins Hats , Kenny Stills will almost certainly miss this week’s contest after suffering a groin strain against the Lions, and DeVante Parker hasn’t been active for five of Miami’s past seven games. Parker will likely suit up for this matchup, but I’m looking for the team to further rely on a strong tight end group to make things happen.It’s time for Adam Gase to take advantage of the athleticism he has in 2018 second-round draft pick Mike Gesicki. Despite the fact that Gesicki is likely to be lined up against a linebacker in Houston’s 3-4 defensive scheme, he should be able to dominate if covered by Mathieu at any point. Gesicki has a whopping nine-inch height advantage on the slightly diminutive safety, and putting a jump ball up for the talented tight end down the field could allow for some big plays to occur.The Dolphins also need to watch out for Mathieu when attempting to make plays in the screen game. Yes, Wilson is hurt, but Miami still has Jakeem Grant out wide to make plays happen after the catch. Mathieu is an unbelievably instinctive playmaker and he’ll sniff out screens quickly if the Dolphins rely on them too often. With Parker and Gesicki in the lineup, Osweiler should be pushing the ball downfield to keep Houston’s defense from keying in on the dink-and-dunks over the middle.