A conversation earlier this week between the the Dolphins and Jason Taylor's representative was polite and inconclusive and so it is correct to say the team is not aggressively chasing the former Pro Bowl player now. But the Dolphins also are not willing to fully close the door on the possibility of signing Taylor, a club source said Thursday night.
So this is where we are: Taylor's representative Gary Wichard is continuing the job of finding Taylor a team to play for in 2009. There is interest from other teams, most prominently, the New England Patriots.
They continue to monitor the situation and reserve the right to become more active at any moment. Or not.
This is apparently not an easy decision for the Dolphins because there is more to weigh in bringing Taylor back to Miami than say, signing him for the first time as a late free agent addition.
Bill Parcells has studied tape of every single snap Taylor played in 2008 and came away believing there is still gas in JT's tank -- just not at the same high mark as a couple of years ago. Taylor has indeed diminished, according to the Dolphins source, so there is a serious question about how big of an upgrade he would be over say, Cameron Wake.
There are other things to think about as well. The Dolphins want to be absolutely certain they make a correct call on Taylor because he is something of a gamble for them. If they sign him and he proves drastically diminished in training camp, the team is concerned about embarrassing him and offending its fan base by having to cut him.
"How would that look?" the source asked.
The team is also concerned about the financial ramifications of adding Taylor. Although he will not come at a price anywhere close to the $8.5 million he was scheduled to make in Washington, he will cost some money and cap space.
And if Miami decides to keep Taylor and he either doesn't play well at the start of the season or gets injured again, as he was much of 2008, the money spent on him would be wasted. "He's a veteran, you know," the source told me. "And after Week One of the season his salary is guaranteed so there is no going back for us."
The Dolphins also want to be prepared should "another Chad Pennington" fall to them sometime between now and the regular season. If Miami adds Taylor, that would limit the team's ability to add another contingency player that would cost $3-$4 million against the salary cap.
Finally, the Dolphins are still weighing the question of improving now versus improving for the long haul. Suppose Taylor is better than the player he proved to be in 2008. Will he still be around in 2010? 2011? Probably not.
So the Dolphins are deciding whether giving those 2009 snaps to a younger player -- namely Wake -- is a better investment that would pay greater dividends in 2010 or 2011.
It's a fascinating scenario that is playing out because, frankly, it never crossed my mind guys like Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland would actually weigh things such as the potential embarrassment to JT if they cut him.
But again, nothing is concrete at this hour. Although the Dolphins are not being aggressive now, the source repeated time and again that can change and no final decision has been made. Interesting.
By the way, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com believes the Dolphins are feigning interest in Taylor for the sole reason of driving up the price the Patriots ultimately will have to pay. That would be cold. And cool.