Over the course of the next 10 days or so (because that's all that is left before camp kicks off), I plan on taking a look at the 5 burning questions that the Dolphins face as they enter training camp.
To start us off with this, I thought I'd look at the biggest question facing this team first. And that, of course, is Jason Taylor. What will Taylor do? Will he show up for camp or will he decide to hold out if he doesn't get his wish of playing for a contender?
You know, it's funny. Throughout this whole long, drawn-out circus this off-season regarding Jason Taylor, I've taken a lot of heat. And that's probably because I was one of the few who turned against Taylor, calling him out and proclaiming that he's selfish and he's not the leader of this team anymore. And to this day, some Dolphin fans still flame me for my strong words against Taylor.
People said I was crazy for knocking him for not being at the OTAs and voluntary mini-camp. Then some got on me for saying it was a problem that Taylor decided to skip the mandatory mini-camp. "He's a professional and he'll be ready when camp kicks off" is what I was told by many who thought I was being too "anti-JT."
Some even claimed that the Dolphins actually owed it to Taylor to trade him to a contender because of how loyal he has been to this franchise throughout his illustrious career. Seriously? The Dolphins owe him? No, no. The only thing owed here is Taylor owing it to the Dolphins to report to camp because he's under contract - a contract which he agreed to.
By now, you've probably figured out which direction this piece is headed. But how am I not supposed to be pissed off at this point? In fact, I don't see how any Dolphins fan isn't pissed off right now. Think about it. Back in June, Jason Taylor said the following:
"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."
That's great and all. But here's the thing: when recently asked if his off-season drama would be coming to a close soon (presumably by showing up at training camp), Taylor responded simply by saying, "We'll see."
Wow. He must really love this place if, with 10 days to go before training camp starts, Taylor can't decide if he'll honor his contract with the Dolphins.
So will he or won't he show up in Davie, Florida on July 26 when the first training camp practice kicks off? That's perhaps the biggest burning question the Dolphins are facing right now as we head towards camp. Personally, I'm hopeful he'll show up, will not be a distraction, and will play up to his typically high standards. But I wouldn't count on it right now.
And this leads me to a question I pose to all of you. How will you feel if Jason Taylor doesn't report to training camp?