Patriots reach out again to Jason Taylor

The Boston Globe reports that the Patriots have once again reached out to free agent defensive end Jason Taylor.

Jason TaylorThe club did not draft a pass-rushing outside linebacker last weekend, and Taylor could help fill that void.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft has said if Taylor, 34, wants to play in New England, it could happen.
The team appears to be stepping up its recruiting efforts, as the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported yesterday that the Patriots have “strong interest” in Taylor, who plans to make a final decision within two weeks.

Taylor has also spoken with the Dolphins, although they haven’t been aggressive, and the Buccaneers are another option, the Sun-Sentinel reported. Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator, Jim Bates, has ties to Taylor from his tenure as Miami’s defensive coordinator.

I’m a little surprised that Taylor hasn’t already inked a deal with New England, although that might indicate that his first choice is to re-sign with the Dolphins. It doesn’t appear that Miami is interested, however, so his options seem to be limited. If he truly wants to try and win a title before he retires, it looks like New England is his best shot.

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Does anyone want Jason Taylor?

Jason TaylorNow that the NFL draft is in the books and unrestricted rookie free agents are being signed, teams can start turning their attention to the available veterans that are still on the market.

One player still looking for a home is former Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Taylor, who was released by the Redskins in early March. Outside of garnering interest from the Dolphins, Jets and Patriots, no team has made the 34-year old pass-rush specialist an offer.

According to the Palm Beach Post, Miami GM Jeff Ireland says that his front office hasn’t talked about adding Taylor, even though the Dolphins went the entire weekend without adding a pass rusher in the draft. Miami did, however, sign former CFL star Cameron Wake a few months ago so maybe Bill Parcells and Co. feel as though adding Taylor would be unnecessary.

New England didn’t draft a pass rusher either, so they still remain one of Taylor’s best options. The Jets are still a possibility too, but one has to believe that they’ll tell Taylor to shove off after he essentially said a couple weeks ago that he would never play for the green and white.

There is little doubt that if he wants to, Taylor will play somewhere next season. Teams are always in need of a pass rusher and while he might not get more than a one year contract, his phone will ring at some point.

Jason Taylor takes a shot at the J-E-T-S

According to the New York Post, the Jets have contacted Jason Taylor to gauge his interest in coming to the Big Apple, but apparently the free agent defensive end would rather urinate glass than wear green and white.

Jason Taylor“It’d be very, very, very difficult,” Taylor said about signing with the Jets. “At the end of the day, if I couldn’t find a job anywhere else and the Jets called, I guess I’d have to retire or go play.”

The Jets reportedly have contacted Taylor, who played 11 seasons for the Dolphins before joining the Redskins last season.

During his time in Miami, the six-time Pro Bowler ripped the Jets repeatedly and threw gas on the rivalry between the two teams. The Patriots also are looking at Taylor, and yesterday Taylor admitted he has been talking to the Dolphins about a possible return.

“I never said it wouldn’t be difficult to play for either, but the Jets are the Jets,” Taylor said. “I’ve had a lot of history saying bad things about Jets fans. The fireman hat guy and all of those people in New York that are Jets fans aren’t the ones working on Wall Street. I’ve said all of those things, so I’ve got to leave it at that.”

Taylor is referring to comments he made in 2004 before the Jets played in Miami. He referenced how he expected many Jets fans to be at the game, “a bunch of them chanting their [dumb-bleep] chant and all that other stuff, being the ignorant fans they are. I said it. I don’t care if they get mad at me or not. They don’t like me anyway. Quite frankly, I don’t care . . . I’m just being real. I’m telling the truth.”

Okay, a simple “no I would not like to play for the Jets” would have done just fine but all right…

Three free agent moves that made sense, three that didn’t and three that have yet to happen

Even though we’re not even a week into the NFL free agency period, there is still plenty to talk about. Below are three free agency moves that made sense, three that didn’t and three that have yet to happen.

Three moves that made sense:

1. The Giants beefing up their defense with the signings of Canty, Boley and Bernard.
Two years ago, New York befuddled a previously unbeaten Patriots team in Super Bowl XLIII with a constant barrage of pressure from its defensive front four. With that in mind, GM Jerry Reese decided to add more talent to his front seven this offseason with the signings of Chris Canty, Rocky Bernard and Michael Boley. Canty and Bernard will beef up the interior of the Giants’ defensive line by adding both size and strength, as well as hopefully boost the production of Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora on the outside. Not too many people have heard of Boley, but before he got lost in the shuffle last year in Atlanta, he was on his way to a promising career. Surrounded by the right talent and given the opportunity to play to his strengths in the right system, Boley could become a Pro Bowler someday and eventually excel in New York. They still have to figure out what to do with Plaxico Burress, but thanks to the signings of these three defensive players (coupled with the sensible deal the team signed running back Brandon Jacobs to), the Giants have had one of the best offseasons of any team in the league.

Read the rest after the jump...

Parcells, Dolphins control their own destiny

Chad PenningtonIt’s amazing how just one offseason can turn around the fortunes of an entire franchise. This time last year, the Miami Dolphins had just one win to its name. One season later, they now control their own destiny in the AFC East after beating the Kansas City Chiefs 38-31 in dramatic fashion.

For all the Raiders, Lions, Rams and Chiefs fans out there – it can happen. Your team can turn things around in just one offseason. But they’ll have to use the Dolphins as a blueprint. They hired someone with a football background in Bill Parcells, who had turned losing teams into winners before. Then they allowed him to do what he does best – put the best people in place to succeed.

He hired a no name in Tony Sparano, who didn’t have a great resume or wasn’t a big name, but Parcells knew he was a football coach through in through. Then the Big Tuna had a solid draft, which focused on rebuilding the offensive line after Miami selected Jake Long with their first overall pick. Then Parcells parted ways with players that no longer fit the long-term plans in Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas. Then he found a veteran quarterback that knew the offensive system and could succeed right away.

Now the Dolphins are 10-5 and after everything mentioned in the above paragraph, can we really be that surprised? Well okay, sure we can. The players still had to execute and Parcells’ master plan still had to come together. But regardless, we shouldn’t be too surprised that Parcells changed the fortunes of a franchise as quickly as it does for him to leave it in the lurch a couple years later – because he’s a born winner.

What was most impressive about Miami’s victory on Sunday was that they won after they received push back. Kansas City challenged them for four quarters and the Dolphins survived. Considering the Chiefs’ dud season and Miami’s desire to be a playoff team, the Dolphins should have cruised to victory. But winning isn’t easy in the NFL and Miami won a game they were supposed to. Case closed.

The Dolphins have just one more victory to earn if they want to put the icing on the cake. A win over the Jets next week in the Meadowlands would allow them to clinch the AFC East crown, which is amazing considering they were the doormats of the division just one season ago. Their magical ride isn’t over, but they’ve certainly put themselves in position to succeed – just like Parcells did in the offseason.

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