Taylor: Taking it One Year at a Time
Look, it's training camp, and there's plenty of mincing and flipping and slicing and overanalyzing of words, because what else is there to do? I realize this is petty. Still, when Vinny Cerrato says "I'm 100 percent positive [Jason Taylor will] play longer than one year," he's not leaving himself a lot of wiggle room.
One hundred percent is just about as high as you can get, absent some go-getting troublemaker who gives the occasional 110 percent. One hundred percent positive means there's something like a zero percent chance Taylor will not play longer than one year.
Which seemed odd to folks, initially, seeing as how less than two months ago Taylor had said this: "My intentions right now are to play one more year." That's a lot different. At the official news conference yesterday, Taylor discarded the one-year intention, as my colleagues reported this morning:
I'm on board. I'm gonna play out my contract. I'll be here for more than one year, God willing, unless something bad happens. I'm here to play ball and play ball as long as I can.
Yeah. But still. Let's go to the audio tape, and listen in to Taylor's interview with The Sports Reporters on ESPN 980. They might be Redskins employees nowadays, but they're not settling that easily.
Andy Pollin: When you came here, when it was announced you were coming here, Vinny Cerrato said it was 100 percent certain that you were gonna play two years, not the one that you had previously said you were gonna play with the Dolphins. What changed your mind about playing two years?
Jason Taylor: Well look, when I said in Miami I was gonna play one more year, we talked about taking it a year at a time and my plan was to play one more year. I've got two years on my deal, and, you know, anything can happen in this league, as we saw [Sunday]. A lot of things can happen, unfortunately. And all things going well, God willing, I'll be able to play out my contract and then we'll see from there.
Steve Czaban [jokingly]: You're dancing now, we're back to dancing.
Taylor: I'm not dancing. What do you want me to tell you? I've got two years, and I plan on playing it.
Czaban/Pollin: Did they guarantee the second year?
Taylor: Did they guarantee the second year? No. Did they tell you they did?
Pollin: No, I'm just curious...
Taylor [jokingly]: I have to go back over and talk to Dan, he didn't tell me that.
Pollin: ...Because I would wonder why there'd be such a quick change of mind on your part if it wasn't guaranteed. That's why I thought maybe they guaranteed it.
Taylor: We haven't talked about that yet. We'll meet here in a little bit.
Czaban: Just so you know, we want you hear as long as possible, but I'm trying to figure out why did you say you only wanted to play one more year? Are you at your rope's end in terms of playing this game?
Taylor: Because my plan, my plan when I came in this league was, well, to make the team, and then as the years go on I wanted to get to 10 years, and take it a year at a time after that. And I talked a couple years ago about evaluating where I was and deciding if I was going to continue to play, and that was the same thing that was going on during this year. With that being said, you know, I'm in a new situation here, on a new team, and part of the deal with talking to Dan and Vinny Cerrato was that we wanted to explore that second year. This is a new opportunity, a brand new team, and I think going very much so in the right direction, and the excitement can make you feel young again, so we'll see.
Czaban: Does the results of this year factor into whether you'll come back for year two?
Taylor: You know what, there's a lot of things that factor into what I'm gonna do in the future, so whether it's family stuff or personal health or team success, there's a lot of things that come into it. My plan is to play longer.
Czaban: All right, so we're still at one-year-at-a-time, and that second year is not guaranteed.
Taylor: Hey, you can never....I know you hear people say all the time, 'Oh, we'll do it one week at a time, one game at a time,' and all that. Well, it's the same thing with players. Unfortunately, Phillip [Daniels] got hurt yesterday, and you never expected for that to happen, and you have to take everything one week at a time, one day at a time and one year at a time.
So to recap, the front office says it's a 100 percent lock, and the player says "my plan is to play longer" and "you have to take everything...one year at a time." Personally, I'm 100 percent positive about only three things in the NFL: Spygate involved no deception, players listed as questionable have a perfectly 50-50 chance of playing on Sunday, and Brett Favre will stay retired.
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