May 15, 2009
Wow! Two days after the Miami Dolphins signed DE/OLB Jason Taylor to a one year, $1.5 million deal, I am still in shock. The consensus was that many expected the New England Patriots to sign JT, not the Phinz.
The Dolphins now have a lot of options at almost every position on the field. The only other big need for the Phinz after the draft was a proven and experienced pass rusher to compliment Joey Porter.
They filled that need, and stealthily too, I may add. After weeks of speculation, all directions pointed to New England, but instead, Taylor picked Miami. In fact, Taylor said that the only team that he would be playing for would be Miami, and that he was never thinking of playing for any other team such as the Pats.
The Dolphins addressed arguably their biggest need with the signing of Taylor, and now have a very solid defense.
Think about it—the Dolphins have added two top tier cornerbacks out of the draft, signed Gibril Wilson to solidify their secondary for years to come, and drafted a quarterback to maneuver the WildCat to bigger and better possibilities.
Even with all of the big additions, the Dolphins biggest moves in the offseason may have been re-signing all of their free-agents such as Vernon Carey, Yeremiah Bell, and Channing Crowder.
They now have a solid nucleus of good young players that will buy into the Dolphins' system. That was the Dolphins' biggest need coming into the season. The Dolphins did not need to draft a pass-rusher if he would not fit into their system, or a cornerback that did not fit the physical standards of a Bill Parcells cornerback. In this category, the Dolphins passed with flying colors.
Back to JT and the linebacking situation. The lineup will probably look like this; Crowder and Matt Roth on the inside, Porter and Cameron Wake on the outside, and JT coming in on certain pass-rushing situations.
Oh, and do not forget that we have Akin Ayodele, and Charlie Anderson coming off the bench as well.
The benefits of adding Taylor is that he will provide that veteran presence that the young defensive ends Philip Merling and Kendal Langford need. He is also committed to the offseason program. The Dolphins gave him a private workout guide so he could workout on his own with a personal trainer.
The signing comes as a surprise to me seeing as how the Pats were in love with him, and JT desperately wanted a championship ring. His commitment to the offseason program was also in question. After all, that was one of the reason why JT left Miami last year.
He seemed more concerned with his chances at getting a movie gig than playing football. That was a big problem with Parcells and what the Trifecta was trying to instill in the team as far as attitude wise.
The move was an unexpected surprise, and is welcome, but one wonders how the Dolphins will get playing time for JT other than pass-rushing downs. I do not doubt for a minute the playmaking abilities that the coaching staff can make for the players, and JT will only make the coaches look like even bigger geniuses.
This contract not only gives JT one last shot at getting a championship with his team, but it also adds to his great legacy as a Miami Dolphin. Leaving the Dolphins last year left a bitter taste in everyone's mouth, but now he has the chance to fix that.
Dol-Phans love JT and his return will no doubt solidify the Trifecta's rapport with the fans.
Overall, this move was one of the better ones of the offseason, and even in recent years! (Don't forget that we basically got that second rounder from Washington for free!)