Free agent Taylor visits with Jets again

Jason Taylor is dancing with the enemy.

The free agent linebacker and six-time Pro Bowl pick with the

Miami Dolphins met with the New York Jets for a second straight day

Thursday as coach Rex Ryan tried to add the NFL’s active sacks

leader to last season’s top-ranked defense.

“Hopefully we can bring him along for the ride,” linebacker

Calvin Pace said. “I think it would be a great situation for

him.”

The 35-year-old Taylor, who visited with his wife, Katina,

headed home to Weston, Fla., without a deal in place, according to

Jets spokesman Bruce Speight. Taylor will take the weekend at the

earliest before deciding on whether to sign with New York.

The former “Dancing With the Stars” contestant – he

finished runner-up to Kristi Yamaguchi in 2008 – has had a

contentious relationship with Jets fans during his 13-year career,

calling them ignorant and classless.

“I think our fans would embrace him,” defensive end Shaun

Ellis said. “They know the type of player he is. There may be some

fans who wouldn’t at first, but after a few weeks and he was on our

team, I think they’d be really excited just to add another part

like that to our defense.”

Added Pace: “I think once he puts the green and white on,

all that other stuff will be in the past.”

Taylor has expressed a desire to remain with the Dolphins,

where he has spent 12 of his 13 NFL seasons. Miami general manager

Jeff Ireland said the team will wait until after the draft before

deciding whether to make an offer, but Taylor’s visit with the Jets

raises the possibility he might make a decision before then.

“I’m not going to air our business through the media,”

Ireland said of Taylor and his agent, Gary Wichard. “They know

exactly our stance. … We have to evaluate things after the draft.

That’s where we’re at.”

The 2006 Defensive Player of the Year with 127 1/2 career

sacks would provide the Jets with a proven pass rusher and might

fit right into Ryan’s aggressive scheme.

“He can do a lot of different things: drop in coverage, rush

the passer and he’s pretty good against the run,” Pace said. “I

think it would be pretty positive for us.”

While his best days are clearly behind him, Taylor still has

plenty left. He had seven sacks, an interception, three forced

fumbles and a fumble return for a touchdown last season.

Taylor played with the Dolphins from 1997-2007 before playing

one season in Washington. He returned to Miami last season with a

one-year contract, and said he wanted to keep playing, preferably

with the Dolphins, rather than retire.

“I know I can play,” Taylor said at an event for his

foundation in January. “It’s just a matter of being in the right

situation. It’s a business, and we’ll see what direction it takes

us.”

Several Jets players met Taylor on Thursday in the weight

room, including Pace. The Jets showed him around the facility and

took him on a helicopter tour of Manhattan and the new Meadowlands

Stadium. Even newly signed running back LaDainian Tomlinson has

been part of the recruiting process.

“I pitched my part in trying to get him here,” Tomlinson

said. “Hopefully, things get done because we can definitely use

him.”

Tomlinson, who signed with the Jets last month after nine

seasons with San Diego, said Taylor gave no indication of his

intentions.

“I think this is the perfect fit for him,” Tomlinson said.

“When you think about it, and Jason’s obviously thinking about it,

he probably can see himself being here. I think we’ve got a great

shot of getting him.”

When asked if he could say one thing to Taylor, cornerback

Darrelle Revis smiled and said: “Sign! Sign with us!”

Outside linebacker Bryan Thomas said he had no idea the Jets

were interested in Taylor until he saw him walking into the

facility Thursday. If the Jets sign Taylor, Thomas could become

expendable after just two sacks last year – his lowest total since

he had 1 1/2 in 2004.

“If that’s something they feel like they’re doing to improve

the team, then I’m all for it,” Thomas said. “I’m not going to

hate on him or nothing. … I’m just going to work hard no matter

what.”

Thomas has maintained his starting role on the Jets, despite

the team bringing in players to challenge him, including former No.

1 draft pick Vernon Gholston, who has no sacks in two NFL seasons.

“I just found out today, so I might go and talk to my agent

to see what’s going on,” Thomas said.