Rumor: Taylor or Peppers To New England?

One was released by the Redskins for being over priced. The other wants out of Carolina in the worst way. Both have been connected to the New England Patriots. We caught up with someone who would know if there's any truth to those rumors of one or the other landing in New England. Adam Caplan tells us which one may land in Foxboro.

Patriots Insider caught up with NFL expert Adam Caplan to get his thoughts on two players many media outlets have pinned the Patriots as a possible suitor for. Free agent Jason Taylor (Redskins) and Franchise defensive end Julius Peppers (Panthers).

While both players have experience playing in a 3-4 defense (Taylor) or want to play in that scheme (Peppers), their athletic ability and ability to fill a need of New England's makes them attractive targets. The question for the Patriots is whether the price to acquire either one of them is too steep.

Here is a short Q&A with Caplan who has tracked numerous free agents around the league. Caplan's commentary can be found on and here on's Free Agency Blog.

Patriots Insider: What do you think of Peppers to New England. It's in all the papers out here that the Pats traded Cassel and Vrabel so they could make a run at a big name. The big name is peppers.

Caplan: From a competitive standpoint, it makes sense since they could use an upgrade at DE. He said he thinks he could play OLB in a 3-4, but that would be a tremendous challenge for him.

PI: What would it take to sign Peppers

Caplan: The franchise tag requires two first-round picks, so the Patriots would have to trade for him. I'd think at least a first-round pick and possibly a conditional pick as well.

PI: What do you think is the possibility that the Patriots will pursue either player?

Caplan: I think Taylor makes more sense based on scheme fit. Taylor has played in the 3-4 previously and the Patriots badly need pass rushing help.

PI: Where do you see either of them eventually ending up?

Caplan: Peppers probably will stay for now and Taylor, Patriots, 49ers, Vikings, Browns, Jaguars, and Chargers based on need.

Adding Jason Taylor is something the Patriots would consider if the opportunity presents itself. Considered one of the best defensive ends in the league, Taylor had a down season with Washington last year.

Taylor's $8.5 million cost was too much for the Redskins to bear considering Taylor's impact of just 3.5 sacks and 29 tackles over 13 games. Though he's a former pro bowler, at 34, Taylor's best days may be behind him.

Patriots fans may remember that Taylor's interception return for a touchdown against Matt Cassel in 2008 was enough to get the young quarterback benched in a blowout win by the Patriots. Tom Brady came back off the bench to relieve Cassel. It was Taylor's only interception of the season.

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