The Jacksonville Jaguars have released running back Fred Taylor after 11 seasons. Taylor, who was selected ninth overall in the 1998 NFL Draft, made a real impact in fantasy football during his career.
As a rookie, Taylor finished with 1,644 yards from scrimmage and 17 total touchdowns. Unfortunately, injuries limited his level of production in two of his next three seasons and led to the undesirable nickname of “Fragile Fred.”
Taylor was able to avoid serious injuries from 2002 to 2004 and was a viable No. 2 fantasy back, averaging 1,370 rushing yards and six total touchdowns. While his visits to the end zone decreased when the Jaguars drafted Maurice Jones-Drew, Taylor still rushed for better than 1,100 yards in two of the last three seasons.
Taylor, 33, leaves the Jaguars as the team’s all-time leading rusher. He still would like to continue his NFL career, but Taylor could have a limited number of suitors because of the increased number of talented running backs around the league.
With Taylor out of the mix, Jones-Drew’s value will rise to new heights in 2009.
“We spent time talking about the various scenarios,” head coach Jack Del Rio told the Jaguars’ official Web site about the new backfield situation. “We want to see more Maurice and more Greg Jones.”
A touchdown machine at the NFL level, Jones-Drew should see a more featured role in the Jaguars’ offense and will be worth as much as a top-five pick in fantasy drafts.
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