Zane Taylor was cut from the Indianapolis Colts’ roster on Thursday, Sept. 1.
“This isn’t the first time. It’s not something you want to get used to, but most players experience this once or several points in their career,” Taylor said.
Almost exactly a year ago Taylor had a similar experience, when he was cut from the New York Jets. The cut, however, proved to be a blessing in disguise. It allowed him to return home to be with his wife, Kemrey, during her last week of pregnancy. He was able to be present at his daughter’s birth on Sept. 15, 2011.
Taylor is a 2006 graduate of Grand County High School and excelled in several sports. He was a three-time state heavyweight wrestling champion and led the high school football team to their first state championship in 2005. He is the son of Kristin Millis of Castle Valley and Tom Taylor of Moab. He is married to high school sweetheart, Kemrey Wells, the daughter of Dennis and Kammy Wells of Moab.
He was recruited by University of Utah, where he was the starting Center. In 2008 his team was undefeated and triumphed over University of Alabama at the Sugarbowl held in New Orleans.
Taylor went undrafted during the 2011 NFL Draft, even though he was projected to be in the fifth or sixth round. The NFL Lockout last spring prevented him from being picked up until the lockout was lifted in late July. He was then picked up by the New York Jets and played four preseason games before he was cut.
While his wife was in labor with their daughter, Kemzey, he got a call from the New England Patriots. Within hours of his daughter’s birth he was on a plane to Boston for a workout.
“It’s the NFL’s version of an interview,” Taylor said.
A week after his daughter’s birth, he was picked up by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to work on their practice squad. While he was with the Buccaneers he was able to visit London, England with the team for a game against the Chicago Bears. He was cut by the Buccaneers in the first week of November.
Things move fast in the NFL.
He was picked up less than two weeks later by the Philadelphia Eagles.
“You got to stay in cell service so you can be on a plane right away. I got called up Monday afternoon and was on a plane four hours later to Philadelphia,” Taylor said. “Meanwhile I have to be in shape and be ready to go at a moments notice.”
He was released by the Philadelphia Eagles and immediately picked up by the Indianapolis Colts in late May. The Colts’ general manager, Ryan Grigson who worked for the Eagles during the 2011 season, liked Taylor’s work.
“As soon as he knew I was available he made room for me on his roster.” Taylor said. “You don’t want to burn any bridges with any team because coaches, scouts and general managers can be moved around as fast as players. It’s important to stay professional and not take anything personally.”
Taylor has no idea what the future may bring.
“Injuries and roster changes happen every week. There are opportunities opening up on a consistent basis. You just hope to be the guy who gets called up,” Taylor said.
His family is expecting baby number two in mid-March during the scheduled off-season.
“There are no mandatory practices or workouts during that time,” Taylor said. “It will be a less stressful situation than it was last year.”
Taylor and his wife appreciate the support they’ve received from family, friends and fans in Moab. It’s been a long year with many cross-country moves.
“It’s not as glitzy or glamorous as people sometimes think. Not everyone is a first-round draft pick” Taylor said. “It is like a blue-collar job that takes a lot of sacrifice. You got to work for every dollar you get. By no means does it put you on easy street.”