Lots of news today on the Jason Taylor front. From what I can tell, Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette broke the story that the Packers had made an “exploratory inquiry” to the Dolphins about Taylor.
The Packers recently made an exploratory inquiry with the Miami Dolphins, who are trying to decide what to do with the disgruntled Taylor. In recent days, the Dolphins have indicated they’re interested in retaining Taylor, the defensive end who won the NFL’s defensive player of the year award in 2006.
Taylor, 33, appears to be more interested in playing for another team in 2008. He has said he would like to play one more year for a team that has a legitimate chance at a Super Bowl.
Working in the Packers’ favor is Taylor’s relationship with their defensive coordinator, Bob Sanders, and defensive tackles coach Robert Nunn. Both coached Taylor when they were on the Dolphins’ staff during the early 2000s. Neither Nunn nor Sanders would say whether they’d push for General Manager Ted Thompson to acquire Taylor, but both lauded him as a player.
“Anytime you can get a guy of that caliber, you’d want to try to get him,” said Nunn, who was with the Dolphins from 2000 to 2002. “But I don’t get involved in anything like that.
“All I know is that when I coached him, he was a great football player and a great person. I hope it works out for him because he’s had such a great career, and I’d hate to see it end on a bad note in the public’s eye. The guy is such an outstanding individual and a great football player, and I just hope for the best for Jason and hope it ends well, and he’s able to compete for a Super Bowl.”
Greg Bedard, who covered the Dolphins before coming to Sconi, says he had lots of reporting on the story but was holding it until there were further developments. He seeks to dampen the prospective enthusiasm a bit.
The bottom line is the Packers and Dolphins have not yet engaged in trade talks. Not even close. And that likely won’t happen until at least right before training camp. So a deal is not even on the radar of being imminent.
(Reminder: Pick up an “imminent” radar ASAP and buy one for the Pentagon, too.)
Bedard’s details are fantastic:
- Namely, the Packers inquired in passing about what the Dolphins wanted for Taylor before the draft. They were told a first-round pick. The Packers almost laughed. Since then, the Packers have checked in from time to time. The Dolphins outwardly are still bluffing, but inwardly they are coming off their asking price….
- …That’s because Taylor has only pushed harder for a trade since he denied doing exactly that. Taylor is miserable with his situation with the Dolphins, from what I’ve been told, and wants out more than ever.
- Packers GM Ted Thompson has discussed Taylor with defensive coordinator Bob Sanders and defensive tackles coach Robert Nunn. I don’t know exactly what they said to Thompson, but I know they both love Taylor.
- There will be little, if any, discussion unless Taylor backs off his plan to only play one more season. Taylor, I’m told, is amenable to that if it’s the right situation.
- Both sides might be willing to do the deal for a second-round pick. But that’s only if two very stubborn negotiators — Thompson and Bill Parcells — both feel they’re getting a good deal. That might be tough to do. And we all know how Thompson keeps a death grip on his draft choices.
One quibble.. I don’t get the claim that the Packers made inquiries “in passing” about Taylor. Either they did or they didn’t. They did. That suggests at least a modicum of interest. (Thompson often calls this “fishing.”) It would be surprising to me if they didn’t do this.
The story here, in my view, is that the Packers have checked back “from time to time.” You don’t do that unless you’re genuinely interested.
My guess is that Thompson — pushed by his two defensive coaches who know Taylor well — wants Taylor in Green Bay.
For the right price, we do too.