The Jason Taylor Saga: What's next?

Trust me, I really don't want to talk about this any more than some of you do.  However, I thought today's post wouldn't focus on who is right and who is wrong and how some of us fans may or may not be losing respect for Jason Taylor.  Instead, let's talk about what eventually might happen here to rectify this situation so that we can all move on.

Around the internet today, there are some interesting theories on what might occur.  So let's talk a little bit about this ideas being thrown around.

In his Monday Morning Quarterback column (the best NFL column around, in my opinion), SI's Peter King says that the only relevant piece of information to come out of Taylo's Sunday press conference was that Jason only plans on playing one more season.  And King, like many, agrees that JT's declaration will only reduce the chance of him getting traded.  After all, not many teams will give up what the Dolphins are looking for in return for a player who is only expected to play for 4 months.

King also writes:

Look, I can tell you this about Taylor, who namby-pambied all around his desire to be traded on Sunday: He wants to be traded. Badly. But when he says he plans to play one year, that makes it far more likely that the Dolphins will stick him in some sort of ugly limbo if he does not report to the team for training camp. Miami will not give Taylor away, and I can't believe anyone will give much more than a low third-round pick for a guy committed to play only one season.

However, King later adds this nugget:

I think if the Chargers dealt for Jason Taylor, he'd be persuaded -- on a good team, with a chance to win the Super Bowl this year and next -- to play two years, not one. Given that scenario, I'd offer the Dolphins a low two for him.

And King's idea that Taylor might play out the full 2 years left on his contract is an idea being floated by a growing number of writers.  The problem, in my opinion, is that this idea might only further complicate things in terms of working out a deal.  A scenario could play out where an interested team offers Miami a certain draft pick for Taylor based on the assumption that he'll only play for one more year while the Dolphins are leery of accepting a lower pick because they know there's a chance Taylor could play the full 2 seasons.  And by no means do Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland want it to appear like they simply gave in to Taylor and got, for lack of a better word, ripped off.

Moving on, Pro Football Weekly's Matt Sohn has written an interesting article for their web site's "The Way We Hear It" section.  In this article, Sohn writes that "those close to Taylor insist that he's not considering retirement yet."  If this is indeed true, which nobody can really know for sure, then that would mean Taylor said he planned on only playing one more season just as a way to better his chances that Miami will decide to trade him.  After all, if he's only playing one more year, he probably thinks the Dolphins would be more inclined to trade him and get some value while they still can.  But again, this is just speculation.

Sohn's article also claims that teams who run 4-3 defenses might be less interested than teams that run 3-4 defenses.  He points to the fact that Taylor struggled against the run in '07 when playing as a down lineman and emphasizes the fact that Taylor has lost weight while dancing, meaning he might be even less effective against the run in '08.  Because of this fear, teams like the Saints, Eagles, and Bucs might not be willing to offer anything close to what the Dolphins are looking for in return for Taylor.

To close his article, Sohn provides us with this:

From the sources we've talked to, the question of whether or not Taylor will be in a Dolphins uniform in 2008 will come down to whether the team is offered a third- or fourth-round draft pick for him — the minimum it will accept. And if no such agreement is struck?

“I see Parcells and Jason kissing and making up,” the insider said.

In other words, if Taylor is still under contract with the club this summer, expect him to be present and accounted for in training camp, despite coach Tony Sparano's recent comments that the club wasn't counting on him being there.

In the eyes of many Dolphin fans, including myself, this would be the ultimate resolution to this situation.  But is it likely?  Call me a pessimist, but I just don't see that happening.

However, legendary Giants LB Lawrence Taylor, who knows Bill Parcells as well as anybody does, would also agree with Sohn's "insider," saying that he believes Jason and Parcells could still get along.  LT says:

"I'm quite sure all that stuff changes when they hit the field. One thing about Bill, if you prove to him that you could play the game and be one of his guys he can count on every Sunday, you'll have no problems with him.''

As for trade possibilities, the trade proposal being thrown around on the web is the "Taylor for Greg Ellis" idea that Adam Schefter threw out on Friday and which we touched on yesterday.  Also on Friday, Todd Archer of the Dallas Morning News tossed around the idea as well.  And, of course, Armando Salguero bounces around the idea on his blog (I'm just as shocked as you that Salguero didn't try acting like he was the first one to report this, like he usually tries to do). 

One thing Salguero does point out that is new information (if it's accurate) is the following:

The Cowboys fit that bill. Taylor, I am told, would happily adjust his contract to make a move to Dallas for the one more year he says he's going to play. This is not a money issue for him, it is about the chance to go out with a ring and he doesn't think he has that chance in Miami no matter what he says to protect his image.

Taylor's desire to restructure his contract in order to play for a contender is key, especially in this deal.  The Cowboys don't have much cap room and Taylor makes over $8 million more than Ellis does over the next 2 seasons. 

Also, this deal would represent probably the 2nd best resolution, at least in my opinion, to this fiasco.  The Dolphins would get a proven pass-rushing OLB who can at least be a stop-gap player until the Dolphins can find their long-term solution.  And Dolphin fans would get to once again root for Taylor and Zach Thomas together.  Could you imagine Thomas and Taylor finally getting a chance to play in the Super Bowl together?  As much as I've always disliked the Cowboys growing up, it would be impossible as a Dolphin fan to not root for Dallas.

The bottom line here is that between now and September, there will indeed be a resolution to this mess.  And it's likely not going to include the Dolphins obtaining a 2nd round pick for Taylor, so don't get your hopes up for that.  Instead, I see 3 possible solutions as of this point in time.  They are:

  • Taylor is traded to Dallas for Greg Ellis
  • Taylor is traded somewhere for a 3rd or 4th round pick
  • Taylor remains a Dolphin in 2008

My question to you all is which of those 3 possible resolutions would you personally prefer?

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