Dolphins coach wants Taylor back on team

Two weeks ago, it looked like Jason Taylor didn't have room on his dance card for the Dolphins, and the team was prepared to let him waltz right out the door. Maybe it's time to save that last dance talk.

Miami Dolphins coach Tony Sparano reached out to the defensive end during a meeting last week, multiple Florida media outlets reported on Tuesday. Sparano discussed details of the meeting Wednesday.

"I wanted to make it clear to Jason that we as an organization want him back here, and that I was anxious to see him running around here with his teammates," Sparano said. "I think Jason left with a pretty clear understanding of that from my end."

Sparano on Taylor

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Dolphins coach Tony Sparano talks about his discussion with DE Jason Taylor.

The new Dolphins regime, led by Bill Parcells, has been fuming for months that Taylor spent his offseason on the TV show "Dancing With the Stars" rather than working out with teammates.

Sparano and Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland talked at a fundraising dinner for the defensive end's charity last weekend, and the two sides seem to have cooled their feud -- for now.

However, Sparano said Taylor is still not expected to be at any practices through training camp, keeping his future with the team uncertain.

"The information that I had then is the information that I have now," Sparano said. "That's the last I'll say about it."

It is still unclear when -- or if -- Taylor will be back on the field for the Dolphins, who have been looking to trade the former defensive player of the year. Taylor was the only player on the Dolphins roster that was not at practice Wednesday.

His teammates don't seem bothered.

"Honestly, I know what he can do. You know what he can do. All y'all know what he can do," linebacker Channing Crowder said. "He's got some stuff going on, I don't know, some business ventures or whatever.

"Like I said, I'll be here, so whatever he wants to do he can do. We won't be upset. As a player, you want a six-time Pro Bowl defensive end on your team, so I hope he's there game one."

Others players said they will take a wait-and-see approach.

"I'm not really concerned about that," linebacker Joey Porter said. "That stuff is really not up to me at this point. I have no control over that."

The Dolphins will hold a mandatory minicamp this weekend, and again Taylor will be missing, for his brother's graduation and an unspecified legal matter. The Dolphins have not announced if Taylor will be fined if he misses the minicamp.

Crowder said players are keeping in touch with Taylor, and understand what he is going through.

"He's a grown man, he can do what he wants to," Crowder said. "I'll be here, so I'll tell him how it was. I'll text him, so I'll tell him how it was."

Taylor has said he wants to play one more year and didn't rule out a return to the 1-15 Dolphins.

He has spent all 11 of his NFL seasons with the Dolphins, winning defensive player of the year honors in 2006. But the Dolphins haven't made the playoffs in six seasons and haven't gotten past the divisional round since Taylor arrived.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.