Michael C. Wright of the Florida Times-Union reports that former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor offered to take a pay cut in order to remain with the team, but that the team said no.
We offered to take a pay cut, but their decision was made,” Taylor told Wright.  “They wanted to go young was their reply.”
On the bright side, making the move eleven days before the start of free agency gives Taylor a chance to hit the market during the week or so of free spending.
“I’m sure it’s a complete shock and surprise to some right now,” Taylor said.  “But I’m just thankful they gave me an opportunity instead of dragging their feet to try to trade me or something like that.  Now I have the opportunity to go into free agency for the first time in my career, ever.  I’m excited about it.”
Still, if Taylor had his preference, he’d stay put.
“I love Jacksonville, that’s where my heart is,” Taylor said.  “That’s where I want to be.  But this wasn’t my call.”
The team initially asked Taylor if he wanted to retire.
“I said, ‘No, I’m not ready for that,’” Taylor said.
And so he’ll undoubtedly be playing for another team in 2009.
But the biggest question will be his financial value.  Last year, running back Shaun Alexander became available little more than two years after winning the NFL MVP award.  For months, Alexander found no takers.


  1. I am sure a team will be willing to take Fred Taylor as their #3 with the potential for him to fight for that #2 RB spot. What about a team like Denver, Detroit or San Francisco?

  2. The difference between alexander and taylor is that there was always the question of alexander’s heart. Alexander did not perform til his contract was near expiration. After he got awarded his big deal his play started to slide. I would call it the “I got paid and don’t want to end up like earl campbell” syndrome. Fred Taylor has had a steady career in the nfl and always gave it 100 percent. He will find work somewhere who needs a running game or needs a guy to split carries. I would predict New England because maroney never can stay healthy but he’s too young to give up on so you bring in a vet to split carries so he doesn’t get banged up. Another team i think could be Denver

  3. I am sure a team will be willing to offer him a shot at #3 on the depth chart, perhaps even a shot to compete with a player for #2. What about a team needing depth at RB, Denver or Detroit or perhaps a team that will be committed to running the ball 30+ times a game, like San Fran?

  4. I think the difference between a back like Shaun Alexander in comparison to a Fred Taylor and LaDainian Tomlinson is the fact that Alexander was never a fast back, he was never a shifty/quick back, and he couldn’t break any tackles despite his size.
    Taylor and Tomlinson still have more athletic ability in their pinky toes than Alexander has ever had in his career..

  5. Has there been a more underappreciated RB in recent NFL history? I know he’s hurt a lot, but he is also very productive when healthy. Or at least he was. How old is he now?

  6. He’s going to the Texans. They have no veteran presence behind Slaton and besides, what player doesn’t want to stick it to their former team and what better way than to go to a division rival?

  7. Fred Taylor is not Shaun Alexander. This guy has been a consistent performer and I can’t see him just falling off the map because he gets some big contract. He is a class act and a standup guy. I wish him the best of luck.

  8. this story about his acceptance of renegotiation to
    stay with the team and subsequent release makes this
    story all the more sad.good guy,sad.

  9. The pack should pick him up. A veteran in the lockerroom and a change-of-pace back.

  10. florio, the difference between taylor and alexander is that alexander was the product of a great offensive line. taylor is a true baller, hes a gamer.
    id love to see the saints pick up taylor.

  11. I think he’d look good in a Patriots uniform if he wants to take a veteran minimum type deal (or a low pay /w incentives).

  12. That’s because Alexander sucked. He was never that good. He just happened to play behind the best offensive line in the league and had the luxury of running behind Steve Hutchinson and Walter Jones.
    If Fred Taylor weren’t so injury prone, he would be considered one of the all-time greats, IMO.

  13. alexander is a soft prima-donna metrosexual type.
    fred taylor is a hard nosed worker who still can squeeze some yards out.
    i see either denver or oakland being interested. i like fred, except for the fact that i wasted my first RB pick on him this year in FF.

  14. I would think that would all be dictated by the team that is interested. Detroit is obviously gonna have to pay more than the Steelers during free agency. For example, if his value is one million and both teams make that offer ….. which team would any sane body pick???? So, Florio, that question is moot at this point. Although, I do see a trend of teams looking to get younger but neglect to factor in what a player does for a locker room. Oh well, we’ll let the geniuses figure this one out.

  15. Alexander didn’t find any takers because he runs like a girl with a sprained ankle. He patented the two-yard run/fall.

  16. Texans? Why would Taylor want to go there at this point in his career? The Colts are looking for a vet to share the load with Addai – if the price is right, he’s in great shape in Indy.

  17. You can’t compare Shaun Alexander to Fred Taylor…Alexander had a few good years running to the left side which had Steve Hutchinson and Walter Jones. If you put Fred Taylor on that Seahawks squad in their prime, Taylor could have won MVP, and put up bigger numbers than Shaun. Taylor will find a home…stay in the AFC South Bud, we’ll ship off Lenwhale to anybody that can afford to feed him, and you can team up with Chris J to help us win a super bowl.

  18. vegas42 says: “Has there been a more underappreciated RB in recent NFL history?”
    Yes, Curtis Martin.

  19. As a Steelers’ fan I’ve seen first hand how stellar Taylor’s career has been when healthy. He was fantastic during the 2007 season and he had a terrible line this season. He’d make a great addition to a backfield that already has some talent and could use a little more.. maybe the Steelers’ Killer can come to Pittsburgh for a chance to obtain the ultimate respect… the Ring!

  20. Hahah… the SA hate is interesting.
    Take a look at every NFL running back that has carried the ball 370 or more times in a season. Then look what happens to them in the following year and the rest of their career.
    SA is hardly different than Terrell Davis, Earl Campbell, Marcus Allen, Larry Johnson, Jamal Lewis and so on.
    Does it mean he definitely ran “without heart?” Who knows…but all that ire would PROBABLY be better directed at Holmgren for mismanaging SA.

  21. Good luck to Fred Taylor. I still remember running around, through and over my Steelers more than a few years back. I hope he does not end up playing in the AFC North. He was one of the best when healthy and is a class act.

  22. I would take Taylor in Tenn. I’d rather have him in front of LenWhale on the depth chart and surely he’d love to play the Jags twice a year.

  23. it is hard not to like fred. he actually got more durable as his career went on. tough, smart player. he should be glad he is getting released. his kind obviously doesnt fit in in jax.

  24. Also…
    Yeah, the line was bad last year. But Fred has been terrible as a receiver out of the backfield and w/ JAX’s mediocre receivers that’s not gonna fly. Especially not when Maurice Jones-Drew averaged something like a full half-yard more per carry behind the same crappy line last year. It makes me sad, but Fred has been in decline for two years and he is not the same elite guy he once was. I hope he lands somewhere with a good line, where he can be productive and get the yardage he needs for the HOF.

  25. Here is the obligatory – He shoudl sign with the Eagles. At the right price, he could be a great tandem with Bwest – split 30 carries a game bw the two of them –
    Marcus Allen and Jim Brown did say that this guy is the best pure runner in the NFL – I’m sure he’s not was he was in his prime, but he’s still got a 600 total yd / 5 TD season in a split backfield w #36 and maybe a young draftee (McCoy??? / Wells???)

  26. you CANNOT compare alexander to taylor
    taylor can still punch you in the mouth and then run away from you, had the jags not lost every interior lineman they had, he’d have 900-1000 yds last season. guy can still play.

  27. Taylor will never be a colt, he has openly admitted hatred for that organization,he will go as far away from the AFC South as he can, out of respect for the city, the fans, and the owner. We’ll miss u in DUVAL Fred

  28. He would look great in a Detroit Lions uniform. Pushing Kevin Smith and providing depth at RB would be an option. Price is the key.

  29. As a Steelers fan for many years, I can only say I wish Fred would retire or at least go somewhere we don’t have to play him any more. He is one guy — Brian Dawkins is another — that I always considered Steelers-type guys.

  30. Comparing Freddy Taylor to Softy Alexander is just plain wrong, Florio.
    Some things just shouldn’t be done, this is one of them.

  31. Fred Taylor was drafted in 1998. As a player he always seemed to be hurt. He still may be able to play but the Jags were just done with him. The Jags can get younger fresher legs for less money. Its that simple.

  32. man seeing freddy t in another uni is gonna be tough. It would really suck if he played for the tacks or the colts. i would think he would want to go to a winner which is why he won’t play for the texans. i could see him in new orleans or maybe denver.

  33. Guy offered to take a pay cut, and they still wouldn’t keep him. He deserves better. Much better. I’ll be rooting against the Jags this year.

  34. The Texans had a terrific offense this year. Who wouldn’t wanna be a part of that? He WILL be a Texan

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