Now, I'm not one to spread rumors. Wait, what am I saying? I'm totally one to spread rumors. It's just my rumors usually involve stories of who lost their job or who is dating who but not admitting it. My rumors rarely involve sports, unless, of course, you count who did what in only a football jersey.
But, every once in a while, I hear a sports rumor that is too juicy to keep canned. This week's rumor involves Jason Taylor.
For anyone who is not a football fan, let me first say, "WHY NOT?" and then clarify that Jason Taylor plays defensive end for the Miami Dolphins. Not only has he been elected to the Pro Bowl several times, but Taylor was also named the 2006 Defensive Player of the Year. A seasoned veteran, Taylor shows no sign of slowing down: last season was one of his most productive yet. Oh, he's also the best player on the Dolphins. That tidbit will be important; try to remember it.
With his stats, his leadership, and his obvious skill, a team would be crazy to trade him. Crazy, or just Miami.
Taylor is the fixture of Miami's defense, a defense that includes another star in Zach Thomas. But, even with Taylor and Thomas, the Dolphins aren't dominating. At 0-3, they are doing just the opposite.
And so, enter the rumor.
According to a writer from the Miami Herald, the Dolphins should consider trading Taylor. Yep — TRADING HIM.
Whoa there, Miami fans, I'm not the one who suggested it. In fact, if you ask me, it's a bit insane to trade any great leader and great player. It's insane.
Or is it ingenious?
Miami isn't going to be Super Bowl champions anytime soon and they just don’t have enough assets to go far in the playoffs. Jason Taylor, however, could be their greatest bargaining chip. Trading him for a 2008 first round draft pick and a couple others adds one more brick on to Miami's road to recovery.
The pros of this deal are simple: Miami would chalk this year up to a rebuilding season, get additional draft picks, and prepare to turn things around in 2008. Jason Taylor, depending on where he went, might also get a chance to win a Super Bowl, one of the only things missing from his prestigious career.
The cons of this deal are simple, too: Miami would lose its best player and an already hurting defense would suddenly be much worse. Draft picks are also not guarantees; just because a player is exceptional in college, doesn't mean they will be great in the NFL (ahem, right Ryan Leaf?).
So, what should Miami do? They haven't asked me (well maybe they have, I haven't checked my messages yet today) but I would suggest they ask Taylor. He has played for the Dolphins his whole career and he may have loyalty to that team. He's had highs, lows, and played side-by-side with his brother-in-law. In another defense, he might not be the shining star he's used to being.
Or, he may be ready to go. Fearing that he will be the Dan Marino of defense and never hold the Lombardi trophy in his hands, he may be ready to see what contending teams want him.
With the trade deadline quickly approaching, the choice needs to be made soon. Taylor either flies the coop or remains swimming with the fishes.
As a man who has done a lot for the Miami Dolphins, Taylor should get the final call. It ought to be his decision to take a knee on the Dolphin's organization or, even if the outcome looks grim, go for it on fourth and long.