Taylor wants to play, but choice isn't his

312628.jpg

Taylor wants to play, but choice isn't his

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com

Fred Taylor believes he's got two more seasons of NFL football in him. During a conversation with Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union, Taylor said he's not sure if he wants to retire or not. Honestly, it's not going to entirely be his decision. It may not even be 50 percent his decision. Consider the economics players are about to face. The owners' final CBA proposal before the lockout featured a 2011 salary cap that was scaled back from 128 million in 2009 to just 114 million. Then consider what a player like Taylor is accustomed to making great cash - he was paid 3.55 million in salary in 2010-11 combined, all for a total of 106 carries. And he made close to 2 million in guaranteed money. When all is said and done, the 2011 salary cap will almost certainly go down. Given the choice between paying aninjury-plagued, 33-year-olda seven-figure salary or some promising young kid who'll toil for less than 500,000, teams are likely going to err on the side of the bargain. So Taylor's going to have to prepare himself for a serious haircut, one so drastic he may wonder what the heck he's playing for.It's a shamewedidn't get a chance to experience Taylor's salad daysas one of the NFL's most explosive backs here in New England. His performances would have put him in front of a mike, where his perceptiveness and ability to talk about the nuances of his profession made him an exceptional interview. Taylor had high praise for the Patriots organization - "The last two years I've had a great experience of being in New England, being with a great organization and learning what tradition is all about"- butadded that there were times in the past two seasons where he felt he was good to go but never got the call. "Ifelt like when things weren't getting done that maybe I could've been the one in there," he said. "And that's every player. If you don't feel that itch, that desire, that passion of wanting to be out there, then you're just wasting your time. There were moments I definitely said, 'Well I'm not tired, I've recovered, I got my wind back, why ain't I in the game?' I do understand in order to be successful you have to be fresh. I just figured it all out."

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Cyrus Jones: 'I'll never take credit for something I don't feel I contributed to'

Cyrus Jones: 'I'll never take credit for something I don't feel I contributed to'

It was a tough rookie season for Cyrus Jones after being selected by the New England Patriots in the second round of the the 2016 NFL Draft.

Despite struggling in the return game all season and being inactive for the playoffs, Jones will forever the labeled as a "Super Bowl Champion" after his team's victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

But you won't hear Jones bragging about the victory.

"I'll never take credit for something I don't feel I contributed to," Jones told Childs Walker of the The Baltimore Sun. "I was part of the team, but I didn't feel a part of it."

The 23-year-old rookie played in 10 games for the Patriots, seeing 147 snaps on defense. But his struggles in the return game were a talking point for most of the season after he came in with such high expectations as a returner out of Alabama. 

"Honestly, it was hell for me," he explained. "That's the only way I can describe it. I didn't feel I deserved to be part of anything that was happening with the team. I felt embarrassed that these people probably thought they wasted a pick on me."

Jones has already turned the page on his rookie season saying, there's "no such thing as an offseason" because he "didn't earn it."

Robert Kraft profiled on this week's 'Real Sports' on HBO

Robert Kraft profiled on this week's 'Real Sports' on HBO

Robert Kraft is a bit taken aback when he walks into a room at Gillette Stadium and sees the Patriots' five Lombardi trophies lined up.

"Wow. That's the first time I've seen five trophies there," he tells Andrea Kremer on HBO's "Real Sports" in a interview that will air as part of this week's episode Tuesday at 10 p.m.

"A lot of people have their big dreams and get knocked down and don't have things go their way," Kraft says, "And you never give up hope and you really just hold on to it. Hard work and perserverance. You just keep getting up and getting up and then you get that breakthrough. I think that's what happened in overtime down in Houston. And that's lessons in life that are good for anyone." 

Here's an excerpt: