Last season Bill Parcells summoned Jason Taylor to his Davie office and on a post it note, offered JT a 1 year extension in the amount of roughly 1.5 million. The one stipulation? JT needed to take the offer without interference from his agent. JT walked out, called his agent, his agent called the Dolphins and Bill Parcells handed the matter over to Jeff Ireland.
Fast forward a little more than 7 months later and Jason Taylor is a New York Jet. Rips the heart out doesn’t it? When asked recently about the lack of interest from the Dolphins and specifically that “Post-it” contract offer, JT said that he was “old school”. He cited the days of Jimmy Johnson, Dave Wannstedt, and Rick Spielman.
As JT said, he doesn’t talk contracts while in season. So because that was the rule of the 3 mentioned above, that is old school? So if I am to read this right, JT wasn’t handled improperly by Bill Parcells and Co., but Jimmy, Dave, and Rick knew how to treat seasoned veterans?
Wasn’t it Jimmy Johnson who put the shackles on one Dan Marino? Who by the way is more beloved in S. Florida than JT ever will be. Wasn’t it Dave Wannstedt who told Marino that he had to compete for his job with Jay Fiedler and that the Phins really had no interest in re-signing him? Wasn’t it Dan Marino who weighed an offer to join the Vikings for another shot at the Super Bowl, who instead, bowed out gracefully?
Wasn’t it Jimmy Johnson who closed the door on the Miami Dolphins history and shut out any mention of Don Shula and his teams? You know, the teams that really were, “old school”. So JT referred to them for the reason why he didn’t discuss his contract offer last year. For his part Rick Spielman wasn’t in a power position long enough to affect any real change.
In the last few months, JT’s camp of Gary Wichard approached the Phins about a new deal to which the Phins replied they would make a decision after the draft. JT’s camp was fine with that but then as the draft came closer and the Jets came calling, they weren’t o.k.
In fact, they went back to Miami and were told the same thing, after the draft. with an offer on the table JT’s agent pressed until the DE/OLB agreed and today, he is in fact in NY.
The question here is what side of the fence are you on? JT’s because he needed to work and had that right, the Dolphins for staying true to their plans and focusing on the draft first and then Taylor? How about the fans, who for over a decade have screamed the name Taylor and will now root against him while he is on a team that most fans simply hate?
For me, it’s simple. I blame Jason Taylor and Gary Wichard. You had an offer in hand and if you wanted to stay in Miami you would have taken it last year. Secondly, you agreed that waiting until after the draft was o.k. and then you changed your mind.
Jason Taylor may have had only one offer on the table now but there is no way that anyone would believe that a 35 year old DE who is still somewhat productive wouldn’t have had more offers after the draft. They may not have been in the neighborhood of 3.7 million but that goes to show you that his decision was based on money and not the desire to continue playing.
Simply put, Jason Taylor took the money and ran. Which is fine, he has that right. But don’t try and spin this into a Dolphins disrespect issue. He made his own bed and now he can lay in it. Jason Taylor is no longer a Miami Dolphin and I hope that he never will be again. I’m not bitter because he could have chosen any other route and that would have been fine. Instead, he chose money and the Jets.
Jason Taylor has been a great player for the Dolphins but he isn’t without his moments. It was Taylor who spoke of retirement when Nick Saban took over the team and he was going to become a hybrid DE. Then he was upset when Saban left and Cam Cameron came on board and it appeared that things would change again. He repeated the issue the following season.
It was Taylor who chose to skip off-season workout so that he could dance in Hollywood despite the fact that new boss Bill Parcells wanted him training with the team. Jason chose his course for Jason and that put him in Washington. When Washington didn’t want him, the Dolphins put it aside and took him back.
Jason is about Jason and that is fine. But let’s not gray the area of who is to blame here. I wished him well in Washington. I offer nothing close with the Jets.
Note: Some of the above information was culled from an interview by Miami Herald “columnist” Armando Salguero in a recent blog. I write this only out of consideration for his personal investigation as it relates to this article.