MIAMI - JANUARY 03: Linebacker Jason Taylor #99 of the Miami Dolphins looks up as the last few moments of the game tick away against the Pittsburgh Steelers calls out a play at the line of scrimmage at Land Shark Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Miami, Florida. The Steelers defeated the Dolphins 30-24. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jason Taylor
He's still better than Cameron Wake and Charlie Anderson. Still more dependable than Akin Ayodele or Joey Porter were or Channing Crowder is. Possibly the best uniformed mentor the Dolphins could hope for for the young guys they'll draft to take his place. And he'll play for virtual peanuts, even through pain.
But for some reason, the Dolphins aren't taking Jason Taylor's calls. Yeah, that Jason Taylor.
Armando Salguero reports Taylor can't get Tony Sparano to respond to his voicemails, and that JT's agent hasn't heard from Dolphins brass but once, two months ago, a call in which Taylor's name never came up. Pardon my French, but what the hell?
Sure, the NFL is a business, a cutthroat one, and that business isn't warm fuzzy memories. Sure, he's 35, and the Dolphins are going to see what happens in the draft. Sure, the invitation to return could come shortly with a one-year contract. But not returning a phone call at all, to one of the greatest to ever don aqua and orange, seems to indicate otherwise.
And here's what I don't get: Miami's ownership is always talking about the fan experience, community goodwill, blah blah blah. Know what Miami fans care more about than handheld boob goggles, what creates more goodwill than pop star minority owners? That that their own devotion is recognized by proxy; that Taylor gets what he deserves for sticking around town through some joke seasons on bad teams, as did those who cheered him and the team and kept buying tickets; that their favorite player gets the harmless opportunity fellow great Zack Thomas shockingly wasn't afforded: to finish the game well, at home, in the uniform in which he belongs, and in front of the fans who've long loved him.
And it won't hurt at all, unlike seeing Taylor finish his career in some crappy city in some other crappy colors. We shouldn't have to type this out.