Everyone learned on Thursday that DE Jason Taylor will not be in the Dolphins plans as the Parcells’ Gang sacked the potential Hollywood star
(Philadelphia, Pa) — As expected right after Jason Taylor finished his Dancing With the Stars’ career by finishing in second place behind Kristi Yamaguchi, the Parcells’ gang sacked his dreams of returning to the Dolphins. Parcells’ mouthpiece head coach Tony Sparano said in a statement, Taylor isn’t expected to take part in any team activities through training camp.
It was obvious since Taylor, the only active NFL player to ever participate on the ABC hit show, decided to not ingratiate himself to the Dolphins’ new czar that he had a big bull’s eye on his back. The budding Hollywood star said that he needed to be in Los Angeles rather than back in South Florida working out with teammates in “voluntary” OTA’s, which sent Parcells in a tizzy. There was even a report that cantankerous old-school VP of Football Operations didn’t even look up to talk to Taylor at the Dolphins complex in his one and only attempt to communicate with the boss.
The ‘Phins made no secret that the 33-year old Taylor was not part of their plans and that they were trying to find a way to jettison the six-time Pro Bowl player similarly to how they cut ties with his brother-in law linebacker Zach Thomas (now with the Dallas Cowboys). However the Dolphins in painting themselves in a corner, did not receive a reasonable offer in their opinion on draft day for the veteran defensive end. There were reported draft day talks with the Jacksonville Jaguars for Taylor, but the Dolphins pulled the plug on the potential deal saying they wanted more than the rumored 3rd or 4th round future draft selection offered.
Sparano relaying a message from Parcells said, “I’m glad we know this. We’ve gotten the information, and that’s important”. The first-year head coach added, “I know that Jason is not going to be in any minicamps, and I know that right now Jason is not going to be at training camp. So that’s what we know. Jason’s a player under contract with the Miami Dolphins. He knows that. Both parties are well aware of the information. That’s all I’m going to say about it. … We need to discuss the current players on our team right now that have been busting their butt for nine weeks here.”
While Sparano implied that Taylor, a Pittsburgh native, initiated the latest development, everyone knows every move in this melodrama has Parcells’ fingerprints all over it. The bottom line is both sides want a break and need to part ways. The big issue is can the Dolphins salvage any value for the 11-year veteran after trashing him at every turn in this saga. I believe most of the suitors for Taylor (rumored to be the Eagles, Patriots, Jaguars, Steelers, and Rams) definitely would love to have a guy that has produced 117 sacks, third among active players, in 172 NFL games. However why trade a high pick for a guy that will mostly likely have to be release by his disgruntled team.
To his credit, Taylor is playing the situation correctly by staying away and not saying much. Honestly who could blame him for not wanting to end his career with a 1-15 team that is clearly in rebuilding mode for the next 2 to 3 years. Taylor, the next Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, said on Saturday about his desire to be on a contender, “I want to win, period”. He added, “There are a lot of things out here going on, and a lot of opportunities coming up, but the plan is to play. Football is still my priority. I still have a passion to play football.”
This is going to be a bumpy ride, so buckle your seatbelt as everyone knows Parcells and his underlings do not acquiesce to players. The Dolphins will probably posture for awhile, but in the end the 2006 NFL defensive player of year has played his last game in the orange and sea green of the Dolphins. Of course Taylor could just pull a “Tiki Barber” and walk-off into the showbiz sunset, but he clearly has more in the tank in my opinion.
Look for Taylor to continue to be at the ‘Phins mercy before Parcells cuts ties with him, probably in a “Randy Moss Get Out of Town” trade around the middle of training camp. As the saga continues look for the Dolphins to lower their expectations and accept a fourth round or higher pick from a non-divisional rival.
Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer/Analyst for BIGPLAY Football and an award winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)