Taylor wants to play, but choice isn't his

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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

Bart Scott: Falcons have 'the better quarterback' in Super Bowl

Bart Scott: Falcons have 'the better quarterback' in Super Bowl

Former Ravens and Jets linebacker - now an "NFL Today" analyst for CBS - Bart Scott usually "can't wait" to make his disdain for Tom Brady and the Patriots known. 

He was back at it Tuesday in an interview with CBS Radio's Damon Amendolara, in which he said the Falcons have the better quarterback heading into Super Bowl LI.

“We know they’re the better offense, and right now, you could say they got the better quarterback because they have the MVP of the league,” Scott said. Ryan is the favorite to win the NFL MVP, which will be announced the night before the Super Bowl at the "NFL Honors" show.

“Now that’s a debate, but Matt Ryan has earned the right for his name to be put up there with the upper-echelon quarterbacks," Scott said. "He’s always been elite in the regular season, but now he’s taken this show into the postseason and he’s won the hard battles against the elite quarterbacks and now you have to give him his due.”

More from Scott: “I can’t see the Patriots stopping this offense. So, that means that these receivers are going to have to [keep] pace. It’s all going to come down to what it always comes down to. It’s going to come down to who makes the turnovers, who gets up early and puts the pressure on the other team. Matt Ryan and that offense showed me a lot when they went behind [in the divisional round against the Seahawks]. Seattle came and busted them in the face, and [Atlanta] went right back down and answered immediately.

"The Patriots always find a way, but I think it makes it more close of a game than what people think.”