Posted: 5:21 pm Wednesday, July 20th, 2011
By Matt Porter
When the NFL lockout ends, Fred Taylor may not get a call from an NFL team.
He isn’t expecting one.
Taylor, who will turn 35 in January, isn’t committing to retirement. He doesn’t anticipate a team to sign him for a 15th NFL season, even if a crazier-than-usual NFL free agency period looms.
“The unexpected, for me, would be if I go back,” said Taylor, a former Glades Central and Florida Gators standout. “At one point, I was solely tied to getting the business cap on and getting this second career going.”
Taylor signed a two-year, $5 million contract with New England in 2008, but injuries limited him to 11 games in two seasons. He appeared in seven games in 2010, carrying 43 times for 155 yards.
He joined the Patriots to chase a championship, and says he’d only follow the same opportunity now.
“I’ve done a lot in this league,” said Taylor, who has 11,695 career rushing yards, mostly with Jacksonville. “Every team will not be able to offer me what I want. I want the opportunity to win a ring. A lot of people will say you go in there and make those opportunities, but let’s be realistic – not every team is in the hunt.
“It’s hard to lay that ball down. If a team calls me, we’ll see.”
Here are the full comments on his status from Taylor, who lives outside of Weston and spends much of his time heading the Fred Taylor Foundation and visiting family in West Palm Beach and Belle Glade. He tweets at @FredTaylorMade.
Taylor, by the way, also spoke about the recruitment of his son, Kelvin, a rising junior at Glades Day and one of the most sought-after running backs in next year’s recruiting class. More on that coming in a few weeks.
Are you training for an NFL season right now?
FT: I’m not doing the same high-intensity stuff as I was when I was younger. I still train really hard, but when you get a little older it takes a certain toll on your body.
I’ve been training for a sense of mind, a sense of peace and my health. That’s what I’ve been doing the last 26 years. It’s hard to lay that ball down. If a team calls me, we’ll see.
My services aren’t meant for every team. I’ve done a lot in this league. Every team will not be able to offer me what I want. I want the opportunity to win a ring. A lot of people will say you go in there and make those opportunities, but let’s be realistic – not every team is in the hunt.
Only certain situations will fit at this point. I don’t want to say it’s my age, because I feel like I can still contribute to any organization.
I feel I’m still good enough to play with the young guys when I’m able to get out on the field. New England was a great place. I really wanted to do more with them, but you can’t control the injuries. We’ll see. I really don’t know. I know I can play, I don’t know if I will play. It’s up to teams to bring me in. We’ll be patient.
With the way free agency is looking – it could be the craziest signing period ever, with lots of players shuffling around – do you have to expect the unexpected?
FT: The unexpected, for me, would be if I go back. At one point, I was solely tied to getting the business cap on and getting this second career going.
I’m sure I can get signed. There’s 32 teams in the league, you figure three running backs a team, that’s 96 running backs. You’ve got to be [expletive] me if you don’t think I’m not one of the best 96 backs out there.
I’m not 100 percent retired. I really don’t know, man. I can’t say. I don’t feel like I left. I don’t want to get into the Brett Favre type of stuff, but I have those days where I’m here, and those days where I’m there.