GM Ireland: Dolphins examining if they should bring back DE Taylor

DAVIE, Fla. -- When Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland met with reporters Friday to discuss the NFL draft, the first player he talked about was a 34-year-old defensive end out of Akron: Jason Taylor.

Ireland said the Dolphins are looking at whether to pursue Taylor, who was cut by the Washington Redskins on March 2 after one disappointing season for refusing to commit to the offseason workout program.

It's unclear whether the Bill Parcells regime is enthusiastic about reuniting with Taylor.

"You have to look at every possible situation at this time of the year," Ireland said. "Players like Jason, who is going to be 35 in September, you have to look at whether veteran players are progress stoppers for younger players."

The Dolphins drafted two defensive ends in the first three rounds last year: Phillip Merling and Kendall Langford.

Taylor has said he's interested in joining Miami, or any other team, and he's expected to be courted by the New England Patriots. He made the Pro Bowl six times in 11 seasons with the Dolphins and was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2006, but Parcells traded him to Washington a year ago for two draft picks.

Regardless of whether Taylor returns to the Dolphins, the team is unlikely to draft a defensive end in the early rounds. The most pressing needs are at wide receiver, cornerback and nose tackle, with Miami in the market for a starter at all three positions.

Ireland said there's depth in the draft at wide receiver, including a couple of potential No. 1 wideouts. He said there's also good depth at cornerback, and the Dolphins might use a lower pick on that position.

"There are players that are playing in this league that were free agents or fifth-, sixth- or seventh-round draft choices at that position, so you've got to do your homework," he said. "I think that's the case in every draft, especially this one."

As for nose tackles, Ireland said the pickings are slim.

"They are hard to find," he said. "How many guys do you see walking around the street that are 6-4, 320? There are just not many."

The Dolphins have nine picks in the April 25-26 draft, including the No. 25 choice overall and two selections in the second round, one from the Redskins. A good draft last year, including taking left tackle Jake Long with the No. 1 overall pick, helped the Dolphins improve from 1-15 in 2007 to 11-5 and AFC East champions in 2008.

"We're still in the rebuilding process," Ireland said. "We've got some work to do."

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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