Will Fred Taylor Return for Another Season as a New England Patriot?

Tony SantorsaSenior Writer IIMarch 28, 2011

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 10:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots hands the ball off to Fred Taylor #21 against the Baltimore Ravens during the 2010 AFC wild-card playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Two words that could sum up running back Fred Taylor's time as a New England Patriot would be "promising," but "disappointing."

Taylor, who's set to become a free agent, has been considering retirement for the past few months now, and his future with the Patriots and the NFL is unclear. But, the situation has been leaning more towards Taylor not suiting up as a Patriot for the 2011 season. 

In a recent interview with Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union, Taylor discussed how he could have two more years left in the league.

"Everyone says, 'You got two more years,' but I don't want those two years to max me out, and then I don't have anything left for my kids," Taylor said.

However, Taylor did express some feelings of uncertainty.

"I don't know," Taylor said. "I can play another two years at a decent level."

Along with discussing retirement, Taylor went on to reflect on his time in New England.

"The last two years I've had a great experience of being in New England, being with a great organization and learning what tradition is all about. This team is still developing that. It's a young franchise."

And Taylor is correct; the Patriots are a young franchise, and with nine draft picks in the upcoming draft, they're only going to get younger—which means, Taylor might be an odd man out.

New England will likely cut ties with Taylor, retirement or not.

In two seasons as a Patriot, Taylor hasn't been able to stay healthy while playing only 13 games. Sitting at age 35, what should make any NFL team feel that Taylor will be able to stay healthy?

During his time in New England, Taylor was effective in those 13 games that he played in. He rushed for 424 yards and averaged 4.0 yards per carry while scoring four touchdowns. 

New England is known for their "running back by committee" philosophy, so Taylor managed to only play in 6.7 percent of the offensive snaps last season.

With the emergence of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead, New England will end up cutting ties with at least one of the three veteran backs in Taylor, Sammy Morris and Kevin Faulk.

Along with Green-Ellis and Woodhead, the Patriots could very possibly select a running back in this year's draft—someone who's much more well-rounded.

Taylor's time in New England, in my opinion, was not time well spent. He was practically a waste of a roster spot and should have retired two years ago. 

Happy trails Taylor; your time in New England will be forgotten but your time as a Jacksonville Jaguar will be remembered. 


NOTE: This article was first seen at PatriotsPlus.net.

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