Thursday, June 19, 2008


There have probably been many thoughts posted today on reports that the Packers are interested in trading for Jason Taylor.

I figured it wouldn't hurt anyone if I threw my two cents in.

First off, a quick summary of what's going on. From Greg Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
After informally asking the Miami Dolphins what they wanted in exchange for defensive end Jason Taylor before the draft, the Packers have kept cursory contact with the Dolphins and have done their homework internally since then.

Packers general manager Ted Thompson recently discussed Taylor with defensive coordinator Bob Sanders and defensive tackles coach Robert Nunn, who both coached Taylor with the Dolphins. Both assistants have a fondness for Taylor and would undoubtedly be in favor of acquiring the 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Sounds like the Packers have discussed the idea, but I'm guessing Thompson doesn't routinely discuss potential trade targets with assistant coaches. With that in mind, I'm led to believe that there might just be something to this.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen took the Ron Wolf angle on all of this:
Wolf has long anguished over the lack of "deal-makers" in the NFL, past and present. There were a handful -- Parcells and Wolf among them -- but not enough. Now in retirement, Wolf has lamented the overall lack of risk-taking, if you can call it that, in quest of the ever-elusive Super Bowl ring.

Thompson has been more conservative than Wolf. He has cherished draft picks to the point that it seems he's obsessed with them. In his first four years as the Packers' GM, he had the mission of rebuilding a team with salary-cap issues. Now the Packers are $30 million under the cap, still one of the youngest teams in the NFL and coming off an appearance in the NFC Championship Game.
If nothing else, this is an intriguing storyline as we enter the "down time" of early summer. This is a time of year where most team executives will take extended time off, and the players aren't involved in any organized football work.

It seems obvious to me that Taylor will need to commit to playing at least two more years if he is to be dealt. From the sounds of it, he wants to be dealt, no matter what he says publicly. He'd also have to commit to attending training camp in Green Bay. If he was truly serious about skipping camp with the Dolphins, that would be one thing. He's been there a long time, knows most of his teammates and the system he will be playing. Plus, it would be their problem and not my team's.

While he is probably at least aware of the system he'd play with the Packers, he would need some time to get acclimated to the coaching staff and his new teammates.

If Taylor isn't willing to commit to more than one season, there is one other way for a deal to happen. The Dolphins would either have to back off their demand for a high draft pick, or they'd have to accept a conditional pick in 2010, based on if Taylor agrees to continue playing in 2009. I'm not even sure such a deal is allowable under NFL rules, but it strikes me as the only chance Miami has of getting a first-day pick for Taylor, unless he decides to play beyond one more season before a deal is done.

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