According the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, there are some new players in consideration for positions on the Packers D-line, including Jason Taylor. USA Today has reported that Jason Taylor was released this afternoon. The Redskins just smashed their piggy bank to sign Albert Haynesworth and DeAngelo Hall. Taylor was a disappointment in Washington last year and he was due $8.5 million in 2009. His release made sense for the Redskins.
Picking him up would make sense for the Packers. It’s safe to assume that Ted Thompson wants to sign players who would play well in Dom Capers’ 3-4 defense. Taylor not only played for Capers before, but won the defensive player of the year award under him. It’s also safe to assume that Taylor was out of his element and injured last year, leading to his lack of success in Washington. So, there is no reason he won’t play at an All-Pro level again this year. Jason Taylor could be the missing piece on a team with enormous potential, much like Reggie White was for the ’96 Packers. Ted Thompson’s conservative approach has set the table for a big move like this.
However, there is little hope that Thompson will surprise us and sign Taylor. The Packers GM will probably focus on Taylor’s negative aspects. He is thirty-four years old, and probably wouldn’t have much of a future in Green Bay. The Packers are one of the youngest teams in the league and invest mostly in their future, a philosophy that doesn’t support very many high priced veterans. Taylor has also been known to be an egotistical head case, who is often unhappy, wherever he plays. His contract demands would probably be high and Ted Thompson will not meet them.
Throughout his tenure in Green Bay, Thompson has been overly conservative. He has stayed away from pricy free agents and refused to make concessions in negotiations. He is the antithesis of the rampant egotism of NFL players and their agents. In theory, this is a great approach. He has locked up some key players with affordable long-term contracts and saved a ton of cap room. Still, for Thompson to build a legacy like Ron Wolf, he needs to make that one big move. He needs to use that cap room on a player that will launch the Packers over the hump of mediocrity.
We all hate players like Javon Walker or Mike McKenzie, who make a scene and leave because of contract disputes. We hate agents, like Drew Rosenhaus, even more, but let’s not forget to hate on Ted Thompson’s stubborn ego too. It drove Brett Favre away, alienated an entire nation of Packers fans, and now it may be restricting the team’s future success. Jason Taylor may not be the right one, but Ted Thompson needs to make a big move and soon.