Dan Marino is shown at his original retirement announcement in 2000. (Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press)

In March of 2000, Dan Marino announced his retirement from the NFL. On Wednesday, Marino signed a one-day contract with the Dolphins, so that he could retire as a member of the only team for which he played.

Wait, what?

It turns out that Marino never filed his official retirement papers with the league. That provided the Dolphins with an opportunity to bring back some of the heroes from their past in a ceremony Wednesday that featured several age- and salary cap-related jokes.

“To sign a contract for a day, I’m very proud of it,” Marino said (via the AP), as he was joined by fellow Hall of Famers Bob Griese and Larry Little, as well as other Miami stalwarts in Kim Bokamper, Nat Moore and Sam Madison. “I’ve been very proud to only be a Dolphin and not play anywhere else.

“And the fact I’ve been a free agent for 16 years and no one’s called is kind of upsetting to me.”

“This means a lot to us,” Dolphins General Manager Mike Tannenbaum said. “Our history, our legacy, we’re all so proud of it and all the contributions you guys have made to the organization means a lot to all of us.”

In 17 years in Miami, Marino never got that elusive Super Bowl ring, but by the time he stopped playing he’d set numerous NFL passing records, and he remains the Dolphins’ all-time leader in most quarterback categories. Of the six former players honored Wednesday, he accounted for one of the group’s two MVP awards (Griese won the other in 1971), three of its combined 14 first-team all-pro selections and nine of its 25 Pro Bowl invitations.

“We all appreciate what the Miami Dolphins are doing, giving us a chance to sign a contract and finish out contracts out with Miami Dolphins,” Griese said Wednesday.

Marino took some ribbing for needing to put on reading glasses before signing his contract, while Tannenbaum jokingly wondered whether the ex-quarterback had better knees than Ryan Tannehill, the team’s present-day starter. Tannehill injured knee ligaments in December, and it is still unclear if he will have to undergo surgery.

Marino was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005, in his first year of eligibility. He works for the Dolphins as a special adviser to the team’s president, Tom Garfinkel.