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Will he or won’t he?
In the latest ‘hold your breath Brett Favre moment,’ Patriots running back Fred Taylor tells Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald that he hasn’t decided anything on his playing status for next season.
This is contrary to what Taylor told the Gainesville Sun’s Pat Dooley on Monday where Taylor assured Dooley that he is “basically retired.” This is the third time Taylor publicly spoke about his NFL career. On March 28, Taylor said that he could seem himself playing for at least two more seasons.
So which one is it Fred?
Maybe a better question is, who cares? Sure, we don’t want to diminish one of the most productive careers of any running back in NFL history, but in a what have you done for me lately league, Taylor’s production was so minimal that he made Denver’s Lance Ball and Washington’s Keiland Williams look like world beaters.
Last season, in a truly odd role with New England, Taylor rushed for only 155 yards in seven games. Taylor’s two-year stint with the Patriots can be defined in one simply word: unfulfillable. Taylor played in just 13 of 32 games and failed to ever establish an identity after being in Jacksonville for 11 years.
With Kevin Faulk’s season cut short because of an ACL tear, the drastically reduced role for Sammy Morris, and Laurence Maroney being released, last season was set up nicely for Taylor to see exceeding reps. However, Taylor struggled to crack the rotation that consisted of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead, who had rushed for a combined 453 yards in the NFL — 11,087 fewer than Taylor’s career total — before the season.
Taylor is just one of 30 backs to rush for over 10,000 yards and is currently the all-time leading rusher in Jaguars team history. But, the fit in New England doesn’t appear to be there. Whether or not Taylor plays again next season or beyond, it most likely won’t be with the Patriots.
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