Jets Roll Out Red Carpet for Jets-Hater Jason Taylor

Pass rusher has slammed Jets as often as he's slammed quarterbacks

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images

    There would be something quite odd about seeing Jason Taylor run out of the tunnel wearing a Jets uniform on the first Monday night of the 2010 season. Not only has the linebacker spent the bulk of his NFL career trying to beat the Jets twice a year as a member of the Dolphins, he's spent it saying the kinds of things about the Jets and their fans that would leave him bloodied if he said them in the Meadowlands parking lot. 

    Tim Graham of ESPN.com has compiled Taylor's greatest hits, an editing job that likely took him quite a bit of time, and we invite you to peruse them at your leisure. The quick and dirty summary is that he doesn't think Jets fans are a particularly classy lot, they take the "C-L" out of class is his exact feeling, and that contempt is probably too light a word for his general feelings about everyone and everything associated with the organization.

    The feeling's been mutual for Taylor's entire career, which makes it all the stranger to hear about the full court press that the team is putting on the 35-year-old this week. Taylor is touring the new stadium, meeting with team executives and, likely, getting a charm offensive from Rex Ryan because he can still rush the passer and the Jets need someone with that skill set.

    Still, Jason Taylor? Could that possibly work?

    Sure it could, just ask Roger Clemens. Plenty of Yankee fans would have rather gotten shingles than root for Clemens during his time with the Red Sox, but once he came to the Bronx and showed he could help the Yankees win the World Series all was forgotten. If Taylor came to New York and dropped Tom Brady on third down, no one would care that he once wore a goofy looking fish on the side of his head or that he thought -- or still thinks -- the guys cheering for him are pond scum. 

    The bigger question might be if Taylor is actually interested in the Jets. There'd be no better way to get the Dolphins interested in re-signing him than to make sure he's caught slow-dancing in public with Ryan. Be it romance or football, no one wants to see their ex in a relationship with their most hated enemy and Taylor might be using the time-honored tradition of targeted flirting to get the attention of the team he really wants. 

    Or there could be genuine interest because of Taylor's already clear post-football intentions. He was on "Dancing With the Stars" and hasn't made any secret of his desire to move into a second career in the limelight when he's done with football. New York is a pretty good place to make that happen, even without the added incentive of a summer series on HBO. Just ask Tiki Barber, who would surely be happy to answer any question that doesn't involve a pregnant wife or 23-year-old interns right now.

    Plus there's the ring thing. Taylor might agree with the pundits who think the Jets are close to a Super Bowl run. If so, he'd be a fine finishing touch and it would be a nice capper on what's been a tremendous career.

    We'll have to wait and see, which is okay because it gives us some time to wrap our head around this whole notion in the first place.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.