“As I sit here and announce my retirement from the Buffalo Bills,” said Thomas from a somber press conference at One Bills Drive, “wow, it's been a great ride.”
“Even though I am retiring today, this is a place that I'll always remember, it will always be a special part of my heart.''
Thomas was drafted in the second round (40th overall) of the 1988 NFL Draft, Buffalo’s first pick in that draft after then-general manager Bill Polian dealt away the team’s first rounder for LB Cornelius Bennett.
Named to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1990s, Thomas was selected first- or second-team All-Pro and All-AFC five times, and was voted to the Pro Bowl five straight years. Thomas retired as the NFL's ninth ranked rusher with 12,074 yards and added another 4,458 yards on 472 catches. He scored 65 rushing and 23 receiving touchdowns in his 13-season career.
''I've always stated that I would retire a Buffalo Bill,” said Thomas of finishing his career where it began.
“I just didn't know when it was going to happen, how it was going to happen. This is the way I wanted to be.''