This will likely be the story that you'll be hearing about most between now and Saturday's draft. Despite Bill Parcells coming out and saying earlier this offseason that the only way Jason Taylor isn't a Dolphin in 2008 is if he retires, rumors continue to swirl regarding Jason's future in Miami. And now with the Jared Allen deal between the Vikings and Chiefs completed, many believe that Taylor is the next big name pass rusher who will be wearing a new uniform in 2008.
A lot of these rumors stem from a report in the Sun-Sentinel that says the Dolphins are indeed shopping Taylor, according to two NFL executives:
A day after signing Michigan's Jake Long, the Dolphins have turned their attention to acquiring another first-round pick, according to two NFL executives. And it appears they are shopping star defensive end Jason Taylor to do it.
The goal is to corral another player at the top of their draft board, one the organization fears might not be around when they select again at No. 32, which is the first pick of the second round.
One of those executives said the Dolphins have talked with teams about trades involving the six-time Pro Bowl selection, but might be asking for too much in return for a 33-year-old expected to earn nearly $17 million in the final two years of his contract.
So why are the Dolphins so high on trying to get another 1st rounder? According to that same Sun-Sentinel report, the Fins have their eyes on 4 players: DE/OLBs Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves and QBs Joe Flacco and Chad Henne. Of course, since we are two days away from the draft, it's very reasonable to assume that these names were thrown out as part of a smokescreen, though a DE/OLB would make sense if Taylor is traded. After all, why would the Dolphins let it get out that they were targeting these 4 players if they didn't want everyone to know their plans?
So where might Taylor go? That's the million dollar question. One landing spot which I've talked about a lot a month or so ago is Jacksonville. However, the Palm Beach Post reports that the Jags are "playing hardball" in terms of what they are willing to give up. In that article, Edgar Thompson writes the following:
If the Dolphins are willing to take the Jags’ second-round pick (No. 58), and something else, Del Rio would make the deal. If Miami holds out for the No. 26 pick, maybe Del Rio would also ask flip-flop fourth-round picks, moving up 25 spots from No. 125 to 100.
Originally, it was thought that the Jags would only give up their 3rd rounder. But apparently, things have changed. While I doubt that Miami could steal Jacksonville's first rounder (#26 overall), the Dolphins do have some luck on their side. The recent Jared Allen deal shed light on a key issue: teams are desperately looking for pass rushers. And the more competition for Taylor, the better for the Dolphins. Perhaps that is why the Jags might be willing to give up their 2nd rounder. And considering teams like Tampa Bay and Philly having shown interest in Allen, the Dolphins could use that as leverage (even if these teams aren't interested in Taylor).
And yet, there's still a darkhorse team out there who could be interested. Rumors are circulating that the Cowboys may also have interest in trading for Jason Taylor, potentially giving Miami the 28th overall pick. It's an interesting theory because it would reunite Jason with his brother-in-law, Zach Thomas. However, why would Dallas, who already have a number solid pass rushing outside linebackers be willing to part with that #28 pick just to add another? That's a good question and that is why these are called rumors.
But when all is said and done, though, I think Taylor will likely be back in Miami (at least until training camp rolls around). I just don't think the Dolphins will get the offer they are looking for. So it wouldn't hurt to pass on a lesser offer and then wait and see what teams come calling in camp when players start getting banged up. However, I'll leave myself a little slack here and say that I wouldn't be totally surprised if Taylor was traded on draft day for a 2nd round pick, most likely to the Jaguars (if anything).
So my question to you all is if you think Taylor will get traded this weekend. And if so, what will the Dolphins get in return?