I am still scratching my head and it doesn't even itch. Seriously. Because this really doesn't make sense to me.
Sometime between late January and mid February of this year, Jason Taylor's agent called the Dolphins and informed them Taylor only intended to play one more season and it made sense for him to play that final year someplace else. The Dolphins were, after all, about to rebuild and Taylor, at 33 years old, didn't want to be part of that rebuilding because he wanted one final shot at winning a title.
Gary Wichard, the agent, made the logical points to Bill Parcells, Jeff Ireland and even team president Bryan Wiedmeier. It was a compelling argument because, after all, Taylor gave his all for 11 seasons and wanted the Dolphins to reward that service by letting him get a chance at a title in his final go-'round.
Fast forward to April when Wichard made the point to the Dolphins again. Then in June when Taylor got in front of the media and said, "I told the Dolphins my intentions from Day One. My intentions are to play one more year."
Then fast forward again to this week when Taylor is traded to the Washington Redskins and, all of a sudden, that stuff about playing one more year which he and his agent have been saying for seven months is simply swept under the rug. "I know I made a statement in June that I would play one more year in '08," Taylor said, "but I have talked to [Redskins owner] Dan Snyder and [executive vice president] Vinny [Cerrato] and coach and I'm going to play out my contract and I will be here for more than one year, God willing, unless something bad happens. I'm here to play ball as long as I can."
Are you feakin' kidding me?
So one conversation with Snyder and the Redskins and suddenly the story he has told the Dolphins from "Day One," is out the window? One day in Washington is enough to convince Taylor to play the two years remaining on his contract and maybe more but 11 seasons in Miami wasn't worth that kind of commitment?
Here is my point: The only reason the Dolphins had to seriously, seriously want to trade Jason Taylor is because they are rebuilding and a Taylor who intends to play one more season isn't as valuable as a draft pick because by the time the team is good again, Taylor would be out of the league.
But if Taylor tells the Dolphins, he's playing until the end of this contract and, in fact, says he's playing "as long as I can," that definitely changes EVERYTHING. Suddenly the team should be thinking it has a pretty good player, one who is rarely injured, for 2009 when the team is hoping to be very competitive and perhaps beyond -- maybe to 2010 when thoughts of playoffs might be on everyone's mind again.
Suddenly the entire picture is different.
Fantasy, you say? Well, are you aware that Taylor would be 37 years old in 2010? In 2004 when Michael Strahan (who Taylor respects) was 33 years old as Taylor is now, his team was 6-10 and finished last in the NFC East? Three years later Strahan, at 37, was a key contributor on a Super Bowl champion. Things change in the NFL. They change quickly.
And the irony here is that the posturing about getting one final chance to win it all is bunk now because the Redskins, with all due respect to those guys that wear pig noses and dresses on Sundays, don't look like much of a legit title contender.
Yes, they made the playoffs last year, but they could just as easily take a step back this year because they don't have Joe Gibbs anymore, they still have an unproven QB, their defensive coordinator isn't as good, they won't have the momentous emotional lift that brought them together last year when Sean Taylor was tragically cut down, and they still play in the world's toughest football division.
Maybe JT hasn't noticed but the Cowboys are loaded. Maybe he hasn't noticed but the Giants won the Super Bowl. Maybe he hasn't noticed but the Eagles, which finished last in the division with an 8-8 record last year, are healthy and added several high-priced free agents. They also have a better coaching staff than Washington now.
So the Redskins have absolutely zero guarantee of making any playoffs. Yet that was enough to make him about-face on the one-and-done statement?
I wouldn't be surprised if the Redskins are watching the playoffs on TV this year, just as the Dolphins probably will be. I wouldn't be surprised that by 2010 the Dolphins have passed the Redskins on talent.
And, given his recent history, I wouldn't be surprised if sometime in the next 12-13 months, Taylor changes course on this issue. Again.