Retirement for some NFL players simply means they are no longer hitting the field come Sunday. It does not mean they are no longer members of the team - at least in the eyes of the fans. The Miami Dolphins have several players like that, players who, despite not having an official capacity with the club, are still "members" of the team. Dan Marino is the obvious first name to come to mind, and the team is reportedly (and slowly) working to find a way to bring Miami's all-time passing leader back to the franchise.
Another former player who falls into that category is defensive end Jason Taylor. Number 99 will forever be a member of the Dolphins - despite having actually spent time with two other franchises near the end of his career.
Which is why it was so nice to see pictures of "JT" back on the Dolphins practice fields during the team's offseason workout program, transitioning from player to coach. Taylor spent a few days during Organized Team Activities with his former team - and some former teammates - working with the defensive line as a "voluntary coach."
According to Taylor, that role could continue. "I did a little bit in OTAs and mini camp and I will probably do some in training camp," Taylor said on 790 The Ticket yesterday (quote via Miami Herald's Barry Jackson). "I hope they have me back. It's good to be around the guys again and do football and share some of the knowledge you were able to gain. We'll see if I can do a little bit more in training camp, and take it from there."
With the development of Dion Jordan such a focus for the club this year, after the 2013 third overall pick essentially redshirted his rookie season, having Taylor available to work with him is leveraging a huge asset. And Taylor adding the "take it from there" could signal a more permanent role down the line for one of the team's greatest players.