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Weekend Roundup: The Jason Taylor saga & #1 pick talk

Well here were are at the beginning of what it sure to be an exciting and entertaining final week before Saturday's NFL Draft.  So here's what you may have missed this weekend while you were trying to tie up all the loose ends so you can spend next weekend watching the draft:

As W NY Fins Fan pointed out in this diary Yahoo's Jason Cole posted this article on Friday about Jason Taylor and his desire to leave Miami.  Cole writes:

Taylor remains a Dolphin, but that's not what he wants. Publicly, Taylor is putting a big smile on everything and saying all the right things. However, he has told the team that he'd like to take Huizenga up on the owner's offer, according to multiple sources close to the player.

The Dolphins declined comment on the situation Friday, but if they refuse to accommodate Taylor's request prior to the beginning of the NFL draft on April 26, Miami could be looking at a repeat of NFL history come July.

The "NFL history" cole is referring to is Jim Brown's retirement from football to pursue an acting career.  Cole believes that Taylor might be entertaining this idea if he isn't traded to a contender by training camp.  Cole also writes that Taylor hasn't made any demands or anything to the Dolphins.  Instead, he's "politely told the team he wants out," according to Cole.

However, on Saturday, the Palm Beach Post refuted this report.  Edgar Thompson writes:

The report that Taylor wants to be traded won't go away.

But Taylor recently told someone close to him that he plans to return to the Dolphins.

Thompson goes on to point out something that most Dolphin fans have already thought of.  and that's the idea that the #1 pick will likely influence where Jason Taylor is playing in 2008.  If the pick is Vernon Gholston or Chris Long, then it's likely Taylor could get traded.  But if the pick is Jake Long, then it's probable that Jason remains a Dolphin.

So now the question is who should we believe?  You'll remember way back when these rumors first surfaced that it was Jason Cole breaking that story.  But no other media outlet was really willing to corroborate Cole's report.  Well it seems the same thing is happening again.  So could Jason Cole really know something that nobody else seems to know?  Possibly.  We all know he has Miami ties, as a former beat writer covering the Dolphins.  And in his time in Miami, he was very well respected and rarely ever printed false rumors or reports.  

So what should we make of this?  I really have no idea.  I generally take the belief of "where there's smoke, there's fire."  But the only smoke here seems to be coming from Jason Cole.  So I'm having a hard time believing Taylor is seriously considering retirement if he is not traded.  But the question for the Dolphins is if they want to take that chance.  It's a tough spot, for sure.  With the best offer for Taylor thus far being a 3rd round pick from the Jaguars, a trade just doesn't seem worth it.  Now, if that offer gets upped to a 2nd rounder, then serious consideration has to be given.

Regardless of if Cole's report is accurate or not, though, it's likely that this saga will not end next weekend.  If Taylor isn't traded on draft weekend, then we'll probably here rumblings from now until training camp about how Taylor is unhappy and is considering retirement.  So be prepared to possibly be reading and hearing about this endless soap opera for a little while longer.

Apparently, Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome isn't buying this Jake Long crap:

"I think one of the best parts of the draft is the intrigue that goes with it with what other teams are going to do," Newsome said. "Right now, probably half of you think Jake Long is going to be the No. 1 pick. I'd probably smile and say that's not going to happen. And, [Miami is] negotiating with the kid right now, for whatever reason."

Newsome believes the Dolphins are still desperately trying to trade out of the top pick but would end up picking Chris Long if they have to stay at No. 1. Newsome's guess is as good as any because he bases how he handles the Baltimore draft, in part, on how Parcells has traditionally done things.

My question is how the hell a GM of another team "knows" what Bill Parcells, Jeff Ireland, and the Dolphins have planned.  Ozzie may be right in the end, but I'm not buying it.  I don't think any team really has an idea of what the Dolphins might do with that #1 pick.

It is interesting, though, that Newsome thinks Chris Long would be the pick and not Vernon Gholston.  I say that because it's been rumored for quite a while that Gholston would be the next player the Dolphins eventually enter negotiations with.  And speaking of which, whatever the Dolphins plan on doing, they better do soon.  Time is running out for the Fins to work out a deal with whoever it is they want with that #1 pick.

That is, of course, unless they already have a deal in place to move down (or are close to a dea lto move down).  Either way, time is ticking and we'll know soon enough.

This week is sure going to be interesting.