MIAMI — Bill Parcells is speaking out, and wants it known that Jason Taylor has a place with the Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins' football operations czar, in one of his first interviews since joining the franchise in December, said Thursday "of course" he wants the six-time Pro Bowl defensive end to be on the field with Miami this fall.

"Why wouldn't you want one of the very best players?" Parcells said in an interview with The Associated Press during an appearance at a Gatorade promotional event.

Parcells also downplayed widespread reports of a rift with Taylor, calling it "a fabrication."

Earlier this week, Taylor said he wants to play one more season, and has told the Dolphins he would agree to a trade if they wish.

Parcells has remained largely silent — publicly, anyway — since Dolphins owner H. Wayne Huizenga hired him in December to run the Dolphins' operations in December. He's already rebuilt the coaching staff, made countless roster decisions and broken down piles of film, all in an effort to change Miami's fortunes. The Dolphins were an NFL-worst 1-15 last season and haven't made the playoffs in six years.

But Parcells' relationship with Taylor has been speculated about more than any other aspect of his tenure so far.

Parcells reportedly ignored the 2006 defensive player of the year when he popped into the Dolphins' facility for a visit several weeks ago during a break from ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." On Thursday, speaking out about that incident the first time, Parcells said he simply didn't notice Taylor when he briefly entered a room that he said was filled with 25-30 other people.

"I didn't even see him," Parcells said.

The saga took an unexpected turn last month when new Miami coach Tony Sparano said the six-time Pro Bowl defensive end would not be with the team for its offseason program or training camp. Sparano seemed to soften his stance on Taylor earlier this week, after the two held a private meeting to clear the air.

Still, it's hardly a certainty that Taylor takes part in Parcells' first South Florida training camp when it opens next month.

"There's nothing new to report," Parcells said.