Here’s an old name to examine again: Jason Taylor.
We asked Taylor about the possibility of going to New England in 2010 during a conference call prior to the Patriots’ game in Miami in December, and he left open the possibility. So while shuffling through the edge rushers, here’s what I’ve uncovered on Taylor’s situation …
1) His fire is stoked: Forget about this guy retiring voluntarily. He’s full-go to play in 2010, and while Taylor turns 36 Sept. 1, the guy is considered a physical freak that’s built to last. Will he be the Defensive Player of the Year? No. But he can be a significant contributor to a good defense.
2) He’s keeping his options open: Last year, I was told that Taylor, personally, loved the idea of playing in New England, but at the wire, family considerations kept him home. I’m now told that it would be “easier” for Taylor to leave this year than it was last year. That, of course, doesn’t mean he wants to bolt Miami, just that he might be a bit more free to do it.
3) He loves Bill Belichick: But you knew that. Those two guys
have some sort of mutual admiration thing going on. One overlooked
piece to this puzzle … Taylor was DPOY in 2006, posting 13.5 sacks,
10 forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two picks returned for
touchdowns. His coach? That’s right, Nick Saban. The idea of playing in
a similar system, with Belichick, is certainly part of the intrigue for
4) The Dolphins’ situation is in flux: Taylor loved playing for Tony Sparano, but turnover in the coaching staff has brought about some uncertainty on the defensive side of the ball. The vet’s got plenty of affection for the organization in Miami, but needs to find a comfort level with new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and new linebackers coach Bill Sheridan. Also, there’s the unsettled matter of Joey Porter’s situation, which will certainly influence Taylor’s position.
Now, I do know that plenty of you out there would rather have younger guys shoring up the edge, but if those guys take time to develop, having Taylor as insurance wouldn’t hurt. Again, this is a situation that is off on the horizon. Still, it’s worth considering, even at this juncture.