Several media outlets serving the greater Boston area this evening reporting that Jason Taylor is open to joining the Patriots for the 2010 season.
If you read this blog daily, you know I've reported that Taylor wants to return to the Dolphins in 2010.
So what gives?
Well, let's handle the Pats idea first. Taylor was on a conference call with Boston media and was asked if he might revist the idea of signing with the Patriots when his deal with the Dolphins is over.
"We’ll see after the season's over," Taylor responded. "I know my deal ends at the end of the year. We’ll reevaluate where we’re at at the end of the year, what the teams want to do and take it from there. You never close off any of your options, you don’t burn any bridges and you always keep an open mind."
So Taylor isn't slamming the door shut on New England. What do you expect him to say? He is not the type to alienate anyone, least of all an organization he respects led by a coach and owner he respects and quarterbacked by friend Tom Brady.
Taylor also has received no guarantees from the Dolphins that they want him back after 2009 as those conversations won't begin until after the season.
Make no mistake: Given the choice, Taylor will pick Miami over New England practically every time, I'm told. It's not that he has any personnel disagreement with playing for New England. It's just that, barring a change in Taylor's domestic life, he wants to be close to his family and his home.
And his family and his home are in South Florida. Simple.
Taylor did tell the Boston media he has no regrets not going to New England even though the Pats were courting him with inviting quotes from the owner and phone calls from head coach Bill Belichick to Taylor's agent.
"No regrets. I have no regrets," Taylor said. "I’m here in Miami. I’m happy. I’m home. Obviously, it meant a lot to me that coach Belichick, Mr. Kraft and the organization would have me, [but] it was meant for me to be here and I will leave it at that."
If the Dolphins will have Taylor back next season, at age 36, Taylor will want to come back. If not, he has obviously left himself a viable option, which obviously is good business even if it causes Miami fans to question (wrongly, I believe) his loyalty.