First—Sean Taylor: Despite the fact that a lot has been said and written about Taylor, the view here is that there isn’t much to write or say. We’d already established that the guy is an insubordinate jerk after learning that he won’t return Joe Gibbs’ phone calls. But we don’t know if he’s a felon or a thug because we don’t know what happened in the wee hours of the morning last week. Like it or not, it’s legal to own a gun in Florida and that means that there are circumstances under which it’s acceptable to display it to others in a threatening manner. Even if Taylor brandished the firearm in an illegal manner and didn’t fire it is that grounds to kick him off the team? To paraphrase the old Seinfeld line, it’s not like there’s anything right with that, but come on. I can’t think of a corporation in the US that would fire an employee, especially one who does his job well, over something like that.
Second—Joe Gibbs: The most ridiculous notion being passed around these days is that the travails of Taylor represent something new to Gibbs. From the aspect of missing time from the team in a contract holdout, the minicamp from which Taylor has been excused will represent the only mandatory team activity he has missed. Under Gibbs, stalwarts such as Dave Butz, Mark Rypien, John Riggins and even the sainted Darrell Green missed mandatory time during contract disputes and it didn’t phase Gibbs a bit. As far as legal issues, the trials and tribulations of Dexter Manley are well known. Gibbs welcomed him back to the team after each incident until his drug problems got to the point where he was banned from the NFL for life. In 1983, the FBI hauled starting safety Tony Peters out of the dorms in Carlisle, PA in handcuffs during training camp. He was charged with conspiract to distribute cocaine. Gibbs expressed hope that Peters was innocent. After Peters pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and served an NFL suspension that lasted a year and a half, Gibbs welcomed him back. Joe Gibbs isn’t soft, he’s a realist.
Third—Kevin Dyson: A pretty good acquisition for the Redskins. The potential rewards are high, a few dozen catches for a few scores at a bargain price. The downside isn’t as bad; although his contract numbers are not yet out there, it’s safe to assume that it wouldn’t cost much, if anything at all, to release him if he doesn’t work out in camp.