The Miami Dolphins are busy. While they were working to finalize a five-year contract with first-round draft pick Jake Long, they were operating behind the scenes to strike a deal with another team for defensive end Jason Taylor.
Two clubs whom the Dolphins contacted confirmed Tuesday that Miami is shopping Taylor, looking for a mid-to-low first-round draft pick in return.
|Miami would like a first-round pick for 33-year-old defensive end Jason Taylor. (Getty Images)|
"The only way Jason Taylor doesn't play for the Dolphins in 2008," Parcells said last month, "is if he retires. The team is not going to trade him."
And maybe that's true. But Miami is reaching out to others to gauge interest in the 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. According to someone close to the situation, that's consistent with Parcells' approach to building football teams.
"I think now that they have Long, Bill is looking for that big pass rusher," he said.
Getting into the second half of the first round would mean looking at defensive linemen like Calais Campbell, Kentwan Balmer, Phillip Merling and Lawrence Jackson. The Dolphins could have a shot at some of those players by doing nothing and taking their chances with the first pick of the second round, but scouts indicated the club may have interest in Michigan quarterback Chad Henne, too.
That has sent the Dolphins looking for more draft picks, with Taylor the bait.
"We're not interested," said one club's GM. "What, we're going to give up a first-round draft pick for someone who turns 34 this year? I don't think so."
One of the two teams to whom we spoke indicated it might have interest if the Dolphins were to lower their demands, but a source close to the club said it would surrender nothing higher than a third-round draft choice.
That jibes with what several coaches and general managers at the owners' winter meetings said they would offer for Taylor -- but it's far less than what Miami is seeking in return.
Taylor, who joined the Dolphins in 1997, had his best season in 2006 when he had 62 tackles, 13.5 sacks, 14 quarterback hurries, two interceptions (both returned for touchdowns), 11 passes defensed, 10 forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
He has not missed a start the past eight seasons, which dates back to 2000.
Senior NFL writer Pete Prisco contributed to this report