Taylor-made split? Dolphin won't attend workouts or training camp

Updated: May 22, 2008, 9:09 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

DAVIE, Fla. -- For those Miami Dolphins who did not watch Jason Taylor perform on "Dancing With The Stars" this offseason, they missed out.

And it has nothing to do with Taylor's runner-up finish to Kristi Yamaguchi in the popular program's season finale Tuesday night.

[+] EnlargeJason Taylor
ABCIt appears the defensive end version of Jason Taylor will be dancing solo for a while now that he and the Dolphins have split.

The Dolphins will not see Miami's star defensive end at any offseason workouts, including training camp when it opens in July, Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said at a news conference Wednesday.

Following a voluntary team practice Wednesday -- with only Taylor missing -- Sparano seemed to signal the Dolphins plan to move on without their top defender.

Sparano said he would not discuss Taylor's boycott at length, adding he would not comment further until he has more information.

"This is my reaction with the Jason Taylor situation, and I'm going to answer this question one time. I'm not going to answer another question about the Jason Taylor situation after I answer this," Sparano began.

"Here's what I know: What I know is that Jason Taylor -- and I'm glad we've gotten the information; that's important -- I know that Jason is not going to be at any OTAs [organized team activities]. I know that Jason is not going to be at any minicamps, and I know that right now, that Jason is not going to be at training camp.

"That being said, we need to discuss the current players on our team right now that have been busting their butt for nine weeks here."

It was unclear what Sparano meant by "information" and unclear whether Taylor initiated the latest escalation in the feud.

The frosty relationship between Taylor and Bill Parcells, who after last season took over as Miami's executive vice president of football operations, has fueled talk that the Dolphins would seek a trade for the six-time Pro Bowl player.

In a recent interview, Taylor said he was unhappy he had talked "probably less than a minute each" with Parcells and new general manager Jeff Ireland, which he perceived as silent treatment. But the 33-year-old Taylor said he still planned to play this season.

"I want to win period, and I would love to win in Miami," he said Saturday from Los Angeles. "There are a lot of things out here going on, and a lot of opportunities coming up, but the plan is to play. Football is still my priority. I still have a passion to play football."

Taylor wrote in his ESPN The Magazine blog earlier this week that he was headed to New York after Tuesday's "Dancing" finale and then to Los Angeles for additional show publicity, and thus would be skipping a voluntary minicamp that begins Friday.

"I know what the reaction's going to be: Oh, he's the leader of that team, and he needs to be there," Taylor wrote. "But, see, there're different types of leadership in sports. There're guys that can talk all the time, and try to lead by saying: 'Oh, this is what we need to do, let's go, rah, rah rah.' They're rah-rah guys.

"And then they're guys, like me, who lead by example. And people are saying now, 'Your example should be being there working out with the team.' Well, at the end of the day, I will show up and I will do anything I need to do, and I will be the best football player I can be."

Taylor acknowledged that this is a different era in Miami, with Parcells coming on to run the show and Sparano taking over as head coach. Paul Pasqualoni is the new defensive coordinator.

"Yes, there's a new defense to learn," Taylor wrote. "But we've had a lot of coaches the last five years, and I've learned all those defenses. We'll make it work, trust me. We're not reinventing the wheel here."

Defensive tackle Vonnie Holliday, who is close to Taylor, said his friend's absence isn't a distraction for the other players.

"All they want to know is if and when he's coming back," Holliday said. "That's the only issues we have with JT right now."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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