I hope you all had a great weekend.
Unfortunately, the weekend headlines were yet again dominated by non other than Jason Taylor. As you all know, Taylor held a press conference in South Florida on Sunday. And what was reportedly supposed to be Taylor's time to come clean and openly demand a trade turned into just another twist in the saga that is Jason Taylor's future plans.
So let's start with some quotes from the Jason, which include the revelation that 2008 is likely Taylor's last season before he retires from the game of football:
“I’m disappointed when you’re away and people are having a chance to take shots at you for certain things and you don’t have a chance to really set the record straight."
“Do I want to be traded? I want to win in ‘08, and that’s what I want to do. I told the Dolphins from Day One that was my intentions. My intentions right now are to play one more year. I tried to give the Dolphins an opportunity that if they wanted to do something and move me that I was OK with that. If they could get value for me, then do that. That was a conversation we had behind closed doors a long time ago.”
“I told the Dolphins from Day One that if it was in the best interests of the organization that I would be fine with a trade. They shopped the trade and did all that and did get the value, and I’m fine with that. I wanted to be up front with the Dolphins and say ‘Look, I plan on playing one more year and let it go’ and give them an opportunity to do what they could with it.”
“I’m playing ball in ‘08. If [a trade] doesn’t work out then I’m a Miami Dolphin. That's what I've been for 11 years. What better way. I love this place."
“I never said ‘Trade me or I’m going to boycott.’ No. I’ve seen all these things. Trust me. All the boycotts .. Wow, there’s a lot of stuff out there. But there’s no demand to be traded.”
Taylor also said that he wouldn't be at the next round of OTAs, which begin today. He also said he does indeed plan to miss next weekend's mandatory mini-camp, meaning he will be fined $8,600 for each day that he misses.
As far as training camp goes, Taylor really found a way to completely avoid giving an answer. He said:
"I can't [predict] what is going to happen in two months. I can't. I've talked to Tony. I haven't talked to Bill. I'm sure Tony talked to Bill. I think we're on the same page. He knows where I stand, and what I plan to do."
Clearly, Jason's plan here was to come off not looking like the bad guy. But just dancing around some key questions isn't good enough. If he wanted to look like the good guy here, he could have easily said that if he isn't traded, he would be in training camp on time in Davie. Instead, he made up some BS answer that really doesn't answer anything.
Some people fans, though, might be saying that since Taylor said he'll play in Miami in '08 if he isn't traded, this shows that all of the "Taylor haters" out there were wrong. But that's not accurate. What good is it if Jason doesn't report to Miami until late August or even early September? Does that really help the team? Or is Taylor just showing up so that he can collect his '08 salary before retirement?
To be honest, though, this whole entire situation just sickens me. It really does. And what I'm hoping for is for Taylor to be traded...and traded soon. Why? Just for the sole purpose that we, as Dolphin fans, wouldn't have to worry about this ridiculous shit anymore. I don't want to be talking about training camp in July and August and have to do a daily JT report discussing his whereabouts and if he might finally show up in Davie. Instead, I want to talk about the future of this team and discuss the players that are working their asses off day in and day out.
And another thing that bothers me here is how much contradicting Taylor did at his press conference. At one point, Taylor says, "This is not about Jason Taylor. I’m just a guy. … This is about the Miami Dolphins, which are so much bigger than me.” However, earlier he made it a point to say that he told the Dolphins that he was "OK" with them looking to trade him.
OK? Sorry, but the Dolphins don't need "Lord Taylor's" approval to trade him. It bothers me that he's trying to come off as the good guy. And this quote really disgusts me:
"I’ll always be a Dolphin and my heart will always be here, regardless of what happens in the future."
Sorry, Jason, but that shit doesn't fly with me. You can't have your agent privately request a trade from the team in January as well as have everybody around you say that you want to be traded and then come out and say you'll always be a Dolphin.
Dan Marino? He'll always be a Dolphin. He never once requested a trade. Zach Thomas? He'll always be a Dolphin. Despite being cut by the team, he was quoted as saying he could never play for the Patriots because of his loyalty for the Dolphins. Sam Madison is another guy who will always be a Dolphin. Again, despite being cut, he made it a point to get the word out to Dolphin fans that his new team's Super Bowl victory was also for us Fin fans.
As for Taylor, he'll likely be remembered as the franchise's all-time greatest defensive player. And there's no argument from me. He'll also always remain one of my favorite players, despite this saga. But if anyone ever puts him in the category of "true Miami Dolphins," then you are just insulting guys like Marino and Thomas. It's that simple. A "true Miami Dolphin" would never have acted as Taylor is acting this offseason.
POSSIBLE TRADE PARTNERS
On Friday, Adam Schefter tossed out 5 teams who have at least shown some interest in trading for Taylor. Those 5 that he lists are Dallas, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, and San Diego.
Of those 5, Schefter says that the Cowboys are the most intriguing. This is for 2 reasons. One, Bill Parcells obviously knows Dallas' personnel very well. And two, the Cowboys have 2 3rd round picks in '09 as well as 2 4th rounders. They also have an unhappy Greg Ellis. Ellis will be 33 in August, so he's no youngster, either. But he'd make a solid stop-gap until the Dolphins can find a young stud pass-rushing OLB for their 3-4 defense. And Ellis is coming off of a 12.5 sacks season, despite missing 3 games. Of course, he wouldn't come without risk. Ellis has missed 10 games since 2006.
This story likely isn't going away quickly, though. So as much as I (and many of you) hate it, we're going to be forced to talk about Taylor quite often despite the fact that he's the only Dolphins player not attending OTAs and next weekend's mini-camp.
You got to love that leadership from Jason, right?