Jason Taylor (American football): Wikis


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Jason Taylor

Jason Taylor during the 2009 NFL season.
No. --     Free Agent
Defensive end / Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: September 1, 1974 (1974-09-01) (age 35)
Place of birth: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Height: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) Weight: 255 lb (116 kg)
Career information
College: Akron
NFL Draft: 1997 / Round: 3 / Pick: 73
Debuted in 1997 for the Miami Dolphins
Career history
 As player:
Roster status: Unrestricted Free Agent
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2009
Tackles     524
Sacks     127.5
Interceptions     8
Stats at NFL.com
Stats at pro-football-reference.com

Jason Paul Taylor (born September 1, 1974 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an American football outside linebacker who is currently a free agent of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Dolphins in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft. He played college football at Akron.

A six-time Pro Bowl selection, Taylor was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2006, and is the NFL's all time leader in fumble return touchdowns (6). He has also played for the Washington Redskins.


Early years

Despite being homeschooled from 10th to 12th grade, Taylor participated in athletics at Woodland Hills High School in Churchill, Pennsylvania, where he was a three-sport star in football and basketball. As a senior, he won Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League honors by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Gateway Newspapers at both tight end and free safety.

College career

Taylor was a four-year letterman and three-year starter for the University of Akron. He recorded 279 tackles, 21 sacks, seven fumbles recovered, and three INTs in his college career. He was a two-time First-Team All-Mid-American Conference selection as a junior and senior, as well as an All-America pick as a junior. As a junior he played weakside linebacker and moved to left defensive end as a senior. In 1996 he earned National Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance against Virginia Tech when he posted 12 tackles, two sacks, two fumble recoveries, three stops for loss and tackled a punt returner in the end zone for a safety.

Taylor also started for the basketball team at the University of Akron. In 2004, he became the third person ever inducted into Akron's Ring of Honor. He majored in political science/criminal justice.

NFL career

Miami Dolphins

Taylor was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the third Round (73rd pick overall) of the 1997 NFL Draft. Taylor signed a four-year deal worth approximately $1.3 million in July 1997. Since then, he has firmly established himself as one of the premier defensive ends in the league. He became a starter in his rookie season and recorded five sacks and forced two fumbles.

The following season, 1998, Taylor recorded nine sacks and the 6'6" Taylor batted away eight passes. In 1999 Taylor grabbed the first of his seven NFL interceptions.


On April 15, 2000, Taylor, a restricted free agent, received a one-year tender that earned him $1.027 million in 2000. Taylor responded with 73-tackles, 14.5-sacks, and 6-passes batted for the Dolphins that season. His performance was rewarded with his first selection to the Pro Bowl.

A year later, on July 24, 2001, he signed a six-year, $42 million contract to remain with the Dolphins. The new contract replaced the one-year, $5.39 million deal the Dolphins tendered Taylor in February, 2001, when he was designated their franchise player. In 2001 Taylor recorded 71 tackles (seven for a loss), 8.5 sacks and swatted away eight passes.

In 2002 Taylor led the NFL and tied the Dolphin team record for sacks with 18.5. He also forced seven fumbles and knocked down eight more passes to go with his 69 tackles. He was a consensus All-Pro selection and returned to the Pro Bowl. The next season (2003) Taylor followed up his All-Pro performances with a 13-sack season.


On March 1, 2004, the Dolphins, in an effort to create more salary cap space, agreed to a three-year contract extension with Taylor. The extension put Taylor under contract through the 2009 season. The new deal (which replaced his 6-year, $42 million contract that was scheduled to expire in 2006) was worth $45 million over the 2004-2009 seasons, including nearly $10 million guaranteed in 2004. In 2004 Taylor had 68 tackles, 9.5 sacks, batted 11 passes and picked off a pass. He followed that up with a 73-tackle, 12-sack showing in 2005. He also knocked down 10 passes and forced four fumbles.


Taylor enjoyed the best year of his career in 2006 when he recorded 13.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, and two interceptions (both of which were returned for touchdowns), an effort which resulted in his selection as the 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. On January 5, 2007, Taylor received twenty-two votes from a panel of fifty sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the NFL. Taylor beat Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey, who received sixteen votes. Shawne Merriman received six votes, and the winner of the award in 2005, Brian Urlacher of the Chicago Bears, received four votes. He was also a consensus All-Pro for the second time.


In 2007 Taylor reached double-digits in sacks for the sixth time in his career and picked off another pass.Five of his FRs he has returned for TDs, which is an NFL record shared with former Atlanta Falcons linebacker Jessie Tuggle. With eight career defensive TDs (three on INT returns, five on FR returns), Taylor is the all-time leader in defensive touchdowns scored by a defensive lineman. He has also registered two career safeties and has two career field goal blocks.

In 2007 Taylor was voted to the All-time Miami Dolphins team in a poll of Dolphins fans. He was a First-team selection at defensive end along with Bill Stanfill.

Washington Redskins

Taylor during the Redskins' training camp in 2008.

Miami Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland admitted that there were trade discussions regarding veteran defensive end Taylor. Jacksonville Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio acknowledged speaking to the Dolphins about Taylor, "They had a certain price in mind and nobody in the league was interested in that price".[1] On Monday April 28, 2008, The Miami Herald reported that Dolphin President Bill Parcells is displeased that Taylor skipped the Dolphins voluntary off-season workouts and that when "Taylor walked into a room where Parcells was watching tape, and Parcells ignored him".[2] Taylor was reportedly "incensed".[3] Ireland, on Sunday, April 27, 2008, said that the Dolphins want Taylor back for the 2008 season and regard him as a team leader.

On Saturday, April 26, 2008, The St. Petersburg Times reported that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had agreed to trade at least a second round pick, and perhaps others, to the Dolphins for Taylor. However, when the second round pick was traded to Jacksonville, the paper removed the story from its website. Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, when asked about trade talks stated, “There have been some trade rumors and I don’t think we’re any different than anybody else. When you’re talking about high-profile players, we’re going to pick up the phone and see what’s going on. It’s part of our job.”[4]

On July 20, 2008, Taylor was traded to the Washington Redskins for a second-round pick in 2009 and a sixth-round pick in 2010.[5] The trade came after the Redskins lost two defensive ends - Phillip Daniels and Alex Buzbee - to season-ending injuries on the first day of training camp.

On March 2, 2009, Taylor was released by the Washington Redskins for refusing to participate in off-season conditioning programs claiming because he wanted to be closer to his family in Florida.[6]

Return To Miami

Taylor (#99) playing Outside Linebacker for the Dolphins in 2009.
Taylor with the Dolphins in 2009.

On May 13, 2009, Taylor signed a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins for $1.1 million with $400,000 in incentives. On November 1, Taylor set the NFL record for most fumble returns for a touchdown with a 48 yard return against the Dolphins rivals, the New York Jets. On December 20, 2009 he sacked Tennessee Titans quarterback, Vince Young, giving him 7 sacks on the season and 127.5 sacks in his career, the 11th most in NFL history. He now trails Hall of Famer New Orleans Saints linebacker Rickey Jackson by half a sack.


Taylor has won numerous awards throughout his career, including the 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award and the 2007 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, the only league honor that recognizes both on-field achievements and off-the-field contributions. Taylor is also a six-time Pro Bowl selection (2000, 2002, 2004-2007), a four-time First or Second Team All-Pro (2000-2002, 2006), a two time NFL Alumni Association Defensive Lineman of the Year (2005, 2006), and the NFL Alumni Association Pass Rusher of the Year (2000).

Taylor has also won the "AFC Defensive Player of the Week" Award seven times which is fifth most ever by a defensive player, for the following performances:

  • 10/13/02 vs. Denver: 5 Tackles, 2 Sacks, 1 FF
  • 12/15/02 vs. Oakland: 8 Tackles, 3 Sacks, 2 FFs
  • 11/23/03 vs. Washington: 9 Tackles, 2 Sacks
  • 11/28/04 vs. San Francisco: 7 Tackles, 3 Sacks, 1 FF, 1 FR
  • 11/27/05 vs. Oakland: 6 Tackles, 3 Sacks, 1 FF, 1 FR, 1 Safety
  • 11/5/06 vs. Chicago: 3 Tackles, 1 Sack, 1 FF, 1 INT returned for a TD
  • 11/19/06 vs. Minnesota: 4 Tackles, 1 Sack, 2 FFs, 1 INT returned for a TD
Taylor (#99) with fellow 2009 Dolphins team captains Chad Pennington, Joey Porter and Jason Ferguson.

Along with winning seven "AFC Defensive Player of the Week" Awards, Taylor has also won three "NFC/AFC Defensive Player of the Month" Awards which is the third most ever by a defensive player (trailing only Bruce Smith and John Randle) for the following performances:

  • October 2002 - 15 Tackles, 4 Sacks, 2 FFs
  • November 2002 - 15 Tackles, 5.5 Sacks, 1 FF
  • November 2006 - 9 Tackles, 2 Sacks, 3 FFs, 2 INTs returned for TDs, 1 Blocked FG

Taylor has also won numerous team awards, including the Dolphins Newcomer of the Year Award (1997), the "Dan Marino" Team MVP Award a record four times (2000, 2002, 2004, 2006), and the "Don Shula" Team Leadership Award twice (2002, 2006).

Dancing with the Stars

  • Week 1: Taylor and partner Edyta Sliwinska performed the foxtrot and received a score of 22 (out of 30) from the judges. He was dubbed an "early favorite" by the judges.
  • Week 2: Judge Len Goodman told Taylor, "You're a winner," after Taylor and Sliwinska's Mambo. The pair received a score of 27 as judge Bruno Tonioli called Taylor "the Mambo King." They were asked to perform the encore on the results show.
  • Week 3: Goodman told Taylor, "One week you're a rooster, the next week you're a feather duster," as Taylor's Jive garnered a score of 23 from the judges.
  • Week 4: Taylor and Sliwinska danced what Goodman labeled "a 'wow'" of a Viennese Waltz, and after receiving a score of 29, Taylor proudly announced that "the feather duster lives, baby."
  • Week 5: Tonioli said Taylor was a "love god" after his Rumba scored a 27.[7]
  • Week 6: Taylor and Sliwinska danced the Cha-cha-cha and scored a 24. Judge Goodman said they "captured the flavor of the dance."[8] Judge Inaba applauded his effort despite the cha-cha-cha not being the easiest dance for someone of his stature.
  • Week 7: First, Taylor danced the Quickstep to a score of 29, prompting Goodman to say, "With performances like that, you're in the final." Later on, Taylor and Edyta danced the Paso Doble to the NFL Monday Night Football theme and scored of 26. Taylor wore eye black as part of his costume. The combined score of 55 was tops among all dancing duos for Week 7.[9] They were asked to perform their Quickstep as an encore on the results show.
  • Week 8: Taylor and Sliwinska first danced the Tango and scored a 29. Then they danced the Samba and scored a 23 for a total score of 52 (the lowest scoring Latin dance of the night). The audience booed the 7 that Judge Len Goodman gave them.
  • Week 10: Taylor and Sliwinska danced and got their 1st perfect score 30/30. Taylor said to Kristi Yamaguchi, "Kristi, it does feel good."


Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Foxtrot/ "Pride and Joy" 7 8 7 Safe
2 Mambo/ "Lupita" 9 9 9 Safe
3 Jive/ "I Got a Woman" 8 7 8 Safe
4 Viennese Waltz/ "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" 10 9 10 Safe
5 Rumba/ "You're All I Need To Get By" 9 9 9 Safe
6 Cha-Cha-Cha/ "Best of My Love" 8 8 8 Safe
7 Quickstep/ "The Dirty Boogie"
Paso Doble/ "Heavy Action"
8 Tango/ "Tango Barbaro"
Samba/ "It Had Better Be Tonight"
Last to be Called Safe
Foxtrot/ "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off"
Paso Doble/ "El Gato Montes"
Cha-Cha-Cha/ "Dancing on the Ceiling"
Freestyle/ "Miami"
Quickstep/ "The Dirty Boogie"


His wife Katina is the sister of former teammate and fellow All-Pro Zach Thomas. Taylor shares the same birthday with Thomas, although Taylor is one year younger. Taylor has three children: sons Isaiah and Mason, and daughter Zoey. Katina Taylor filed for divorce twice in 2006, citing irreconcilable differences and asking for custody of the children, but both times she withdrew the petitions.[10]

Coincidentally, in 2008 when both Taylor and Thomas left the Dolphins for opposite sides of the Cowboys–Redskins rivalry, both changed their jersey numbers to 55, after wearing numbers 99 and 54 respectively with the Dolphins. While Thomas changed to number 55 for obvious reasons (Bobby Carpenter already has possession of number 54 in Dallas), Taylor decided to change his number after a discussion with his wife to start a new chapter with the Redskins.[11] Although fellow defensive end Andre Carter - who wears number 99 with the Redskins - was willing to let Taylor have the number, Taylor didn't press the issue, wanting to "let 99 stay in Miami".


In 2004 Taylor and his wife Katina founded the Jason Taylor Foundation with the goal of improving the lives of children in South Florida. The Foundation has accomplished much in a short time, including launching the Jason Taylor Reading Room, an after-school program aimed at increasing literacy among inner city children; re-naming the Holtz Children's Hospital's learning center as "The Jason Taylor Children's Learning Center;" providing eleven sixth grade students with college scholarships through the Take Stock in Children organization; creating the "Big Screens-Big Dreams" program to screen inspirational films for hundreds of student-athletes; and furnishing 60 children with $300 back-to-school shopping certificates as part of the "Cool Gear for the School Year" program.

Taylor has been widely recognized for his charitable work. In addition to winning the 2007 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, he has been named twice as one of The Sporting News "Good Guys" and was honored by CBS Sports' James Brown with a JB Award, given annually to NFL players who have demonstrated a commitment to building better communities and stronger families.


  1. ^ "South Florida". Sun-sentinel.com. http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/football/pro/dolphins/sfl-flspdolnotes28sbapr28,0,2824200.story. Retrieved March 3, 2009. 
  2. ^ Miami Herald.com "Parcells-Taylor impasse slows building process"
  3. ^ ibid
  4. ^ "Pro Football Talk.com". Pro Football Talk.com. February 18, 2009. http://www.profootballtalk.com/category/rumor-mill/. Retrieved March 3, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Redskins get DE Taylor from Dolphins after Daniels goes down". NFL.com. July 28, 2008. http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d80967072&template=with-video&confirm=true. Retrieved March 3, 2009. 
  6. ^ Redskins Release Six-Time Pro Bowl Defensive End Taylor Yahoo Sports, March 2, 2009
  7. ^ "Dancing with the Stars Week 5: Jason Taylor Dances Rumba". TV.Popcrunch.com. April 15, 2008. http://tv.popcrunch.com/dancing-with-the-stars-week-5-jason-taylor-dances-rumba-video/. Retrieved March 3, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Dancing With The Stars: Week 6". TV Squad.com. April 21, 2008. http://www.tvsquad.com/2008/04/21/dancing-with-the-stars-week-6/. Retrieved March 3, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Dancing with the Stars Week 7: Jason Taylor Quickstep Paso Doble". Tv.popcrunch.com. April 29, 2008. http://tv.popcrunch.com/dancing-with-the-stars-week-7-jason-taylor-quickstep-paso-doble-video/. Retrieved March 3, 2009. 
  10. ^ Jason Taylor Almost Quit Florida Sun-Sentinel, June 21, 2007.
  11. ^ "Taylor switches from No. 99 to 55, has first Skins practice". Sports.espn.go.com. July 23, 2008. http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/trainingcamp08/news/story?id=3500930. Retrieved March 3, 2009. 

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