The Real Trouble With Signing Jason Taylor

Move would send mixed messages to current Jets

By Josh Alper
|  Friday, Apr 9, 2010  |  Updated 5:01 PM EDT
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The Real Trouble With Signing Jason Taylor

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It's looking more and more like Jason Taylor will be a member of the New York Jets in 2010.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel is reporting that the teams have agreed to financial terms -- $3.45 million over two years -- and are only haggling about how much of the offseason workout program Taylor will be allowed to miss.

As we discussed on Wednesday, the prospect of Taylor playing for the Jets is one that's not easy to wrap your head around. It would make for one of the more interesting introductory press conferences in history, however. Taylor can't play the "I always wanted to play there" card or even the "I'm excited to be in New York" card, so he'll probably have to sing the praises of Rex Ryan when it comes time to explain his decision.

How many other Jets are going to feel like that if it turns out the voluntary offseason program is a lot less voluntary for them than it is for Taylor? 

Ryan ripped Leon Washington, a restricted free agent, for not showing up to the early workouts last month. Taylor did have shoulder surgery, which might keep him from being ready right away, but Washington is recovering from a broken leg and, as mentioned, isn't even under contract at this point. It's a curious line to draw between players who hurt themselves working for you against players who weren't part of the team last year.

It's also a curious line to draw for a coach who went on the radio and bragged about how well attended the Jets' workout sessions would be this offseason. "Let’s see who has better attendance than us," was the exact quote, which begs the question of why they are so much more important for players not named Jason Taylor.

We're not naive enough to think that there aren't different standards for different players on every team in every sport. The Jets, however, have made a habit of continually treating players from their own team with a different level of respect as those who are coming in from other places. It's not as bad as it was during the Eric Mangini era, when several players publicly accused the team of reneging on promises, but the Thomas Jones/LaDainian Tomlinson swap and this stuff with workouts still send the message that the team doesn't always place the highest priority on their current players.

All of that might prove to be a lot more problematic than anything Taylor said about the Jets in the past.  

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.

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