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What they're saying...

By now I'm sure you've all heard about the he said, he said saga regarding Jason Taylor's future in Miami. The latest was reported by Chris Mortensen, who said that Bill Parcells told him Taylor will be back in Miami in 2008 (unless he retired). Well, apparently, not everyone is buying this. One of those people is Greg Stoda:

The cold truth - and there's precious little of any other kind in the NFL - is that Taylor doesn't fit Miami czar Bill Parcells' restructuring model. Taylor will be a 34-year-old defensive end next September, which makes him too old; he'll carry a $7.5 million salary, which makes him too expensive.

He also is still very good, which makes him more valuable to the Dolphins in trade (For a first-rounder? Multiples in lower rounds?) than he would be in person on a team that's going to be somewhere around 4-12 with or without him.

Parcells denied an Internet report that the Dolphins want to trade Taylor before next month's NFL Draft by calling it "totally untrue" and "journalistic irresponsibility." Well, of course, he did. What else was Parcells going to say? And it's worth noting right here how Heat czar Pat Riley recently denied intentions to trade Shaquille O'Neal almost right up until the time he sent him off to Phoenix without appreciable second thought.

That's how these things usually proceed.

The word gets out. A denial is issued. A deal is made.

Parcells says Taylor's options are to play for Miami or to retire. But that's nothing more than the boss weaving himself a safety net in the event the case gets ugly. Parcells knows perfectly well that he'll accept any proposal he deems worthwhile in exchange for Taylor.

This is more or less what I was thinking. I get the feeling that Bill was pissed about Jason Cole's story because it hurts him from a bargaining position. And Stoda's point about the Shaq trade is right on the money. Riley denied all season long that O'Neal wasn't going anywhere. But when the right team offers you the right deal, you pounce. That's what I expect Parcells to do. And if no deal entices him, Taylor will probably be back. After all, there's no need to trade JT. It's not like this team strapped for cash or anything.

The question, though, that many fans don't see an answer to following Calvin Pace's decision to go to the Jets is who would replace Taylor at OLB in Miami's 3-4 defense (if that is indeed what they run). It's been rumored for a while that Darryl Blackstock, Pace's backup in Arizona, is one potential candidate. Of course, he's far from a safe bet to pan out and earn a starting spot. The recently signed Charlie Anderson is another idea, but I don't know nearly enough about him to make any kind of assumption on if he'd be able to succeed or not as a starter.

But one player we can't forget about is Quentin Moses. Moses was signed by Miami back in October after the Raiders released their 3rd round pick. He also spend about 6 weeks in Arizona before they ditched him. At 6'5, 257, Moses has the size and speed needed to excel as a 3-4 outside linebacker. And this signing by Randy Mueller may prove to be one of his better moves as GM of this team, as even Bill Parcells is impressed with Moses, according to Omar Kelly:

Quentin Moses is a keeper. I'm told Parcells likes him and thinks he can be developed.

No matter what happens, this is going to be an interesting story to keep an eye on. And if anything involving Taylor was to happen, I think it would likely happen prior to April's draft. So these next 7-8 weeks will be quite telling.

There was an interesting little tidbit in Peter King's latest MMQ column:

I think you shouldn't make too much of this, but Bill Parcells, czar of the Dolphins, holder of the first pick in the draft, called Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski the other day and requested video of every one of quarterback Matt Ryan's 654 passes last fall. I still say Ryan at No. 3, to Atlanta, makes the most sense.

Really? Every one of his passes? You're telling me our VP of Football Operations actually called a college coach himself (when there's a number of people working under him who could do this) and requested EVERY pass Matt Ryan threw last season? Somehow, I don't buy it. What I do buy is that this is just Bill's latest smokescreen, and an effective one at that, because just the idea that Bill is looking at every pass Ryan threw in 2007 is an endorsement in itself for Ryan. This, along with Chris Mortensen's report about Josh McCown likely to be the #2 quarterback, has to really be making Atlanta nervous (if they are indeed looking seriously at Matt Ryan).

Thought on any of this?