Still, Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that agent Ken Sarnoff is still talking to the Vikings, even as Sarnoff undoubtedly is fielding (at a minimum) hypothetical offers from other teams who can’t officially talk to him about Taylor until 12:00 a.m. ET.
Taylor, who arrived in 2006 and served as the starter for one season before the drafting of Adrian Peterson, has remained a key contributor. But perception possibly outpaces reality when it comes to gauging his true value. Taylor averaged only 3.6 yards per carry in 2009, and he contributed only 727 total yards and two touchdowns. His two fumbles in 138 touches equates to a 1.44-percent ball-dropping average — not dramatically lower than Adrian Peterson’s 1.96-percent rate.
There there’s this just-ate-popcorn moment against the Steelers, which resulted in a game-clinching interception return for a touchdown. Though the blame properly rests on Taylor, the stat sheet reflects a pick-six for Brett Favre.
And Favre surely is a key factor in whether and to what extent the Vikings will cough up considerable money for Taylor. We believe that, if Favre definitely wanted Taylor to return, the Vikings already would have signed him.
If Favre is fine with Chester leaving and if someone else wants to pay Taylor starter-level money, the Vikings would need only to find another guy who can contribute 150 or fewer touches, who can take over as the lead dog if/when something on Adrian snaps, crackles, or pops, and who can catch passes and pick up blitzers on third downs — ideally without letting any of those balls squirt through his hands like a greased gourd.
Again, if Favre is fine with letting Taylor go, then he won’t be back. In that case, look for Brian Westbrook — who is only 20 days older than Taylor — to get a long look, and for the Vikings to bolster the position via the middle rounds of the draft.
In this regard, don’t forget about Percy Harvin, who played plenty of tailback at Florida. If the Vikings have another wideout who can properly work out of the slot on third downs, Percy could slide from time to time into the backfield, which would make the offense potentially even more dynamic.