Jason Taylor is no longer part of the Washington Redskins organization, meaning he is an unrestricted free agent. So does that mean he could soon be reunited with the Dolphins, the team he played for 11 outstanding seasons before spending one forgettable year in Washington?
No. Not right now, anyway.
The Dolphins today have no intention of making overtures to Taylor or his agent. The team is eyebrows-deep in locking up new center Jake Grove to a five-year contract and making sure it has enough salary cap space to conduct other business throughout the offseason.
Adding a salary like Taylor's is not in the budget and therefore not in Miami's immediate plans, according to an informed team source. But ...
Are the Dolphins absolutely, positively shutting the door on Jason Taylor? Is there zero chance he returns to Miami? Did the JT express leave the station last year, with no chance of ever stopping back again?
There is indeed a scenario under which the Dolphins would welcome Jason Taylor back.
By the way, when I asked about Taylor late Monday, I expected the answer to be a quick and decisive, "No thanks," so we could all move on to the next order of business. But that wasn't the answer I got and these next few facts surprised me.
First, the idea that Taylor cannot be welcomed back to the Dolphins because he and football czar Bill Parcells had a falling out last year just prior to his trade to Washington is not correct. Taylor, in fact, has talked and spent time with Parcells a couple of times since the trade. Parcells has nothing against Taylor.
Secondly, the Dolphins don't dismiss the idea Taylor still has something substantial left in the tank. He had only 3.5 sacks last year, the fewest since 1999 when he had 2.5. But that might have been because Taylor was being used improperly, or he was playing injured the entire time, and he was never really in great football shape to begin with.
Thirdly, if Taylor were willing to play for decent, but not outrageous money, and if he were willing to make a full commitment to Miami this offseason as well as in training camp and during the preseason, the possibility of a reunion is not out of the question. This, of course, is all hypothetical right now.
And a lot of this rides on Taylor. The fact is he missed all of last offseason while on Dancing with the Stars and was cut by the Redskins, in part, because he didn't want to commit to attending 75 percent of the team's 2009 offseason workout days, gives pause. The Dolphins would demand a much greater commitment than that this offseason.
And, of course, there is the issue of money -- because there always is an issue of money. Taylor is not exactly unwanted by other teams. The Tampa Tribune has reported the Bucs, whose defensive coordinator is former Dolphins coordinator Jim Bates, intend to pursue Taylor. And Taylor has given zero indication he would be willing to play for less than market value in 2009. So this could all be moot because, again, the Dolphins cannot afford Jason Taylor at market value.
So the whole reunion idea is only a remote possibility.
But what if JT gets a wild hair about coming back? [Cue motivational Knute Rockne music] What if he wants to give it one last try to make the playoffs with his old team? What if he convinces himself that he indeed can commit to arigorous offseason workout and conditioning program with Miami? What if he decides he likes the idea of playing for the team that is about 10 miles from his home? What if the man who's made more money than he likely will ever need decides he can play one last season in Miami at a deep discount?
Then, if all those factors fall into place, the doors of possibility open. [Stop motivational Knute Rockne music here.]
Then, and only then, I would tell you the Dolphins would be open to Jason Taylor coming home.