Released by the only team he's ever played for in the NFL, 11-year veteran running back Fred Taylor is making a free agent visit with the Buffalo Bills today (Tuesday).
"It's been terrific," said Taylor of his visit. "It's a little cold, about 50 degrees different, but I've never been afraid of that. It's a first class organization. My wife asked if they would fly me in first class and I kind of laughed, but they did."
Taylor was let go by the Jacksonville Jaguars in a cost cutting move on Feb. 16. While Buffalo's offensive backfield is a bit crowded with Marshawn Lynch, Fred Jackson and Xavier Omon, Taylor is not going to be influenced by personnel.
"Talking with a good friend of mine, ex-teammate Marcus Stroud he's like, 'You better come, you better come,'" said Taylor. "I think the sky is the limit. It's a great opportunity. We are in a recession and I am jobless so I have to make the most of every opportunity and say the right stuff. The people I have met have been terrific."
The Bills will be competing with New England for Taylor's services as the Jaguars' all-time leading rusher is scheduled to travel to Boston late Tuesday afternoon to visit with the Patriots. Buffalo does have the advantage of coaching familiarity.
"I must say that I love coach Jauron being that I had him as a rookie in Jacksonville," said Taylor. "Great deal of respect, mutual respect. Every time we play each other we find each other on the field just to say our hellos and stuff. He's a great man. I like Buffalo, it's been an outstanding visit. We'll see, we'll see."
Standing 16th on the NFL's all-time rushing list with 11,271 yards, Taylor is just one season removed from his seventh career 1,000-yard season (1,202 rushing yards in 2007), which earned him his first Pro Bowl nod in February 2008.
This past season Taylor, 33, had become the second option behind Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew. It was the first non-injury year in which Taylor had less than 150 carries.
Taylor had just 556 yards in 2008 and averaged 3.9 yards per carry, but was running behind an injury-plagued offensive line as witnessed by the Bills in Week 2 when he had 49 yards on 14 carries.
Nevertheless, he's still widely considered to be a capable NFL back with power and breakaway ability.
Evidence of that is revealed by the fact that Taylor is fifth in league history in rushes of 10 yards or more. He has also been a strong finisher in his career as his career rushing average in December is 5.3 yards per carry.
His career average of 4.6 per rush is fifth best in NFL history.
Taylor is a former first-round pick of the Jaguars and was selected with a pick that ironically was acquired from the Bills in 1998 in the trade for quarterback Rob Johnson.