The 27 days represented the 75% of the team's offseason conditioning
workouts, voluntary sessions that are held at Redskins Park. Attendance at
these sessions has historically been very high for the Redskins, with all
but a handful coming in to work out. Dan Snyder offered that $500K bonus to
Taylor as an incentive for him not to be one of that handful of no-shows.
The Redskins didn't expect the 34-year-old to come to these workouts
just because he suffered from two major injuries last season, to his knee
and to his calf, that forced him to miss a total of three games. And his
attendance was not expected just because he had one of the worst seasons of
his career. And it wasn't expected because he could benefit from spending
some time with his teammates and learning more about his role in the
No, his attendance was requested in return for $500,000 or about
$18,500 per day. For this amount of money, he was asked to leave his family
on Monday evening, fly to Dulles, participate in three days of workouts and
then return to South Florida on Thursday evening. All to be better prepared
to perform for an employer who was willing to pay him an additional eight
million, five hundred thousand dollars.
But, citing a desire to spend time with his wife and children in
Miami, Taylor refused to agree. Snyder and Vinny Cerrato decided that they
were better off spending that $9 million elsewhere and Taylor was released.
Taylor is gone before the second-round draft pick they gave the
Dolphins in a panic move last July after Phillip Daniels was lost to a knee
injury on the first day of training camp is even used. And that will help
ensure the continuation of a cycle of futility for the Washington Redskins.
Here's what I said about the move a few days after it was made, even while
Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Dave Elfin, the decidedly non-homer
reporter for the Washington Times were praising it:
To be clear, I don't necessarily think
that they should have taken Calais Campbell or Quentin Groves in the second
round of the draft. I stand by my point that the biggest problem this team
has had this decade is scoring points, not preventing the other team from
Still, if one injury to a starter at one
position forces you to make a trade that burns a second and a sixth and over
$8 million in cap space you haven't done a very good job in building depth
at that position. You can nitpick over what player should have been taken
over another with a given draft pick, but having depth means that you have
someone who can step in as a starter in the event of an injury. The
Redskins, by their own admission, didn't have that depth.
So the cycle will continue. They don't have that second-round pick so
it's likely that some time in the future when a starter goes down with an
injury-and that happens all the time in the NFL-they won't have a capable
replacement ready to insert into the lineup. So they'll have to get on the
phone again and trade away another future draft pick for another player who
doesn't quite mesh with a system that he doesn't fully understand.
In the July 2008 post cited above, I commented on Elfin's characterization
of the Taylor trade as a "no-brainer"
I don't know about the characterization as
a no-brainer, but Vinny Cerrato and company certainly acted as though it was
one. No doubt, however, it was a bold move and like most bold moves it's
likely that it will prove to be either a master stroke or a colossal
Time will tell.
Time has told us that it was a colossal blunder. History tells us
that it's one that is likely to be repeated.