After visiting both the Patriots and Bills over the past few days, it is believed that free agent running back Fred Taylor will sign with New England. Both teams made contract offers to the 11-year veteran, but the Patriots' recent run of success may have tipped the balance for Taylor, who has seen two players close to him -- cousin Santonio Holmes with the Steelers and friend Plaxico Burress with the Giants -- win Super Bowl rings, something Taylor hasn't had a chance to come close to achieving yet. Team is also very important to Taylor, who offered to take a pay cut in order to stay with Jacksonville, but the Jaguars told him they wanted to get younger at the position when they released him last week.
After sharing the load with Maurice Jones-Drew in recent years, Taylor hasn't taken much of a beating, and he likely has at least three good seasons left in his legs. Though he is one of the most underrated running backs of his era, with just one Pro Bowl nod, Taylor has over 11,000 career yards and a couple more solid seasons could solidify his Hall of Fame credentials.
Before New England played the Jags last January in the playoffs, Bill Belichick called Taylor one of the best backs in the league: "Fred Taylor, you just can't say enough about him. He's a great runner. He's a strong, powerful guy. [He's] very nifty in the open field, excellent blitz pick up, one of the better blockers that we've seen in the league from his position. He's a complete player [and] does a great job," Belichick said.
Taylor fits the mold of other backs Belichick has brought in over the years, a veteran looking for team success in the final seasons of his career: Antowain Smith, Corey Dillon, Sammy Morris and LaMont Jordan