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Tuna's denial on Taylor departure is smart but means little

    Aaa1jt [Monday addendum: I must have been in the buffet line when God was handing out naivete, and so I interpret Bill Parcells' "strong denial" as smartly self-serving and little more. It may be the truth, too; maybe he really has no intention of trading Taylor. But you can bet that's subject to change. You don't think he'd take somebody's high-to-medium No. 1 draft pick for Taylor? Please! For now, though, it is in Miami's best free-agency interest for players considering coming here to believe Tayor will be a teammate. So give Tuna credit for playing this story just as he should, even if his denial proves a bit disengenuous in the real world].

     Earlier post:

     ESPN's Chris Mortensen first reported Sunday morning that earlier reports of Jason Taylor's imminent departure may be false. Dolphins VP Bill Parcells told Mortensen the original website report was "journalistic irresponsibility."

     We'll see by what happens between now and the draft.

     The original story was that the Dolphins and their star defensive end had agreed to part ways sometime before the April draft. I tended to believe it even though the source of the Internet report was the ridiculously named Yahoo! website, which should change its name because it's like being asked to take seriously a political candidate called Skippy! But I digress.

     Taylor departing would be more bad news for Miami unless the team could get a first-round pick from some sucker-suitor out there (Green Bay?) or at least a second-rounder plus a lower pick. Unfortunately the Dolphins have limited bargaining power because if the best deal doesn't suit Taylor, he can simply dance into retirement.

     Parcells now insisting the team will not trade Taylor -- that he'll be back unless he retires -- could be the truth, or a public effort to appease angry fans while private trade are welcomed. Again, we'll see.

     I'd hate to see Taylor go (by trade or retirement) because he is the team's best player, and I think you owe it to fans to be as good as you can be now even as massive rebuilding is underway. And riddle me this: How would the Dolphins justify that Taylor, 33, wasn't a part of their youth movement when they just traded for a defensive tackle aged 33 in Jason Ferguson?

     The issue over Taylor's future comes in the midst of an early offseason that has lacked a wow-factor. When your biggest free-agent signing so far is recycled QB mediocrity in Josh McCown and you see bigger prizes scooped up by rivals (such as Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca to the Jets), this is not good.

     Your thoughts invited, especially on the Taylor development. Do you tend to believe the original report by Yahoo!'s Jason Cole, the respected former Dolphins beat guy for The Herald? Or the public denial by Parcells?

     Either way, just for fun ... where in your mind does Taylor rate among greatest Dolphin defenders of all-time? And if we really have seen the last of No. 99 in aqua, what message would you send to JT as he leaves us?