It seems that future hall of famer and one of the great Dolphins of all time, Jason Taylor, very well may have played his last game in Miami. Following Dolphins coach Tony Sparano's revelation that Taylor will not be attending any offseason activities , and Taylor's admission that he has asked for a trade ... rumors have started swirl about where Taylor could land.
"I want to win in '08. That's what I want to do," Taylor told the Associated Press. "And I've told the Dolphins from Day 1 that was my intention. My intentions right now are to play one more year. I've tried to give the Dolphins the opportunity, if they wanted to do something and move me, then I was OK with that. If they can get value for me, then do that. That was the conversation we had behind closed doors a long time ago."
The Eagles are among a handful of teams that have been repeatedly mentioned as possible suitors. NFL.com listed the most likely spots(NO, Dal, TB, Phi) and why Taylor would be a fit there.
" Philadelphia –- Throughout the offseason, the Eagles have tried to make a big splash. First they landed free-agent cornerback Asante Samuel. Then they nearly signed free-agent wide receiver Randy Moss. They inquired about trading for Cincinnati wide receiver Chad Johnson. And they have looked into the possibility of trading for Taylor. Eagles coach Andy Reid never has enough defensive linemen. During the Reid era, the Eagles have drafted a defensive lineman with their top pick five times in nine years, including this past year, when Philadelphia drafted Notre Dame defensive tackle Trevor Laws in the second round with the 47th overall pick. Taylor would team with Pro Bowl defensive end Trent Cole to give the Eagles a dynamic pass-rushing tag team.
A few issues come into play here.
Would Taylor actually make a difference?
Jason Taylor will turn 34 years old this season. It's pretty rare to see non kickers staying tremendously productive at that age. Plus, Taylor's commitment to football has to be somewhat questioned at this point. He missed the Dolphins offseason program in favor of appearing on Dancing With The Stars and has skipped other team activities to host charity golf tournaments. He's expressed an interest in pursuing an acting career and has plainly stated he only plans to play one more year. All that said... there's a few undeniable things about Taylor. He's been tremendously consistent and productive over his career, last season was no different. Taylor racked up 11 sacks. In 06 he had 13.5 sacks, in 05 he had 12. The guy is a bonafide future hall of famer and has always been regarded as a consummate pro. There's really no reason to think that Taylor wouldn't step right and make plays for whatever team gets him. Taylor would give the Eagles two pro bowlers bookending their defensive line, and the thought of Trent Cole and Taylor being unleashed on opposition QBs has to be something the Eagles braintrust dreams of.
Do we even need Taylor?
In short, yeah. What team doesn't need a hall of fame pass rusher? That said, there is a bit of a numbers game at DE. In the past 2 years the Eagles have added 3 DEs that are guaranteed roster spots. 06 2nd round pick Victor Abiamiri, 07 3rd round pick Bryan Smith, and 07 free agent Chris Clemons. Definitely add Trent Cole and probably Juqua Parker to that list and you have 5 DEs that aren't going anywhere. In a perfect world, I think we'd all love to see the young guys like Abiamiri and Smith step up and fill the role opposite Cole... but the interesting thing is that Taylor doesn't necessarily get in their way. If he holds true to his assertion that he only wants to play one more year, then Taylor is really nothing more than a one year rental. A great player coming in to leave it all out on the field for one last shot at a title. You'd think the amount of things the young guys could learn just by being around a player of Taylor's caliber for a year would be invaluable.
The ultimate question here will come down to cost. As great as Taylor is, he'll be 34 and he's clearly stated his intention to play just one year. So what could the Dolphins realistically ask in return and what would an interested team realistically offer? You'd have to think a first or second round pick is out of the question, but could a team think Taylor is the final piece to a championship roster and that a 3rd round pick is worth a one year rental? We'll see.
Smart money says the Dolphins are just looking to get the best offer they can, but the two teams that are reportedly interested in Taylor could have the inside track. Dallas and Philadelphia. Both teams have already pulled off trades with the Dolphins this offseason. Andy Reid and Bill Parcells are good friends, while pretty much the entire Dolphins braintrust worked for the Cowboys last season.