|Birth Date||September 1, 1974|
|Known For||Retired NFL player|
|Highest Score||30 (Quickstep)|
|Lowest Score||22 (Foxtrot)|
Jason Taylor grew up around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and played high school football for Woodland Hills High School. Taylor is one of the many players to reach the NFL from the successful football program led by coach George Novak at Woodland Hills. Taylor was homeschooled from grades 10 through 12.
While attending the University of Akron, Taylor was a four-year letterman and three-year starter for the Akron Zips football team. He recorded 279 tackles, 21 sacks, seven fumbles recovered, and three interceptions 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 Akron Zips men's basketball team. In 2004, he became the third person ever inducted into Akron's Ring of Honor. He majored in political science and criminal justice.
First stint with DolphinsEdit
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. From there he 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 eight career 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.
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 one of the best years 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. Taylor was also named a consensus All-Pro for the second time in his career.
In 2007 Taylor reached double-digits in sacks for the sixth time in his career and picked off another pass (the 7th of his career, and the 3rd returned for a TD). 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 became 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.
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". 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 to be on Dancing with the Stars and that when "Taylor walked into a room where Parcells was watching tape, and Parcells ignored him".Taylor was reportedly "incensed". 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.
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. 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 he wanted to be closer to his family in Florida.
Second stint with DolphinsEdit
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, and extended his NFL record of most defensive touchdowns scored by a defensive lineman with 9 (6 on fumble returns, 3 on INT returns). In a game against Tampa Bay, Taylor also recorded his 8th and final career interception, which is 2nd all-time for a defensive lineman.
New York JetsEdit
Taylor signed with the New York Jets on April 20, 2010 to a 2-year contract worth up to $13 million with $2.5 million guaranteed. On September 19, 2010 he sacked New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, giving him 128.5 sacks in his career, the 10th most in NFL history. With 132.5 sacks at the end of the regular season, he was tied for 8th most sacks in a career with Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor and defensive end Leslie O'Neal. On January 23, 2011 Taylor played in his first Conference Championship game in his productive 14-year career but only recorded 2 tackles while the Jets lost 24-19 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, falling one game short of the Super Bowl for the second straight year.
After a subpar season with the team, the Jets released Taylor on February 28, 2011.
Third stint with DolphinsEdit
On August 1, 2011, Taylor signed with the Miami Dolphins for a third stint. During a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles Jason Taylor sacked Michael Vick twice giving him seven sacks on the year, and also giving him the sixth most sacks in NFL history with 139.5, just ahead of Hall of Famers John Randle and Richard Dent.
Retirement and broadcasting careerEdit
On December 28, 2011, Taylor announced that he would retire at the end of the 2011 season. He played his final game on January 1, 2012 in a win against the New York Jets. In the game Taylor nearly returned a fumble for a touchdown, before the score was overruled.
Jason appeared as a guest analyst for NFL Live on June 6, 2011. On June 6, 2012 it was announced that Jason Taylor would join ESPN as an analyst. Taylor will contribute to NFL Live, SportsCenter, NFL32 and Sunday and Monday NFL Countdown. Taylor is a board member of NFL Foundation.
On October 14, 2012, Jason along with his teammate Zach Thomas, together became the 23rd and 24th members to be inducted into the Miami Dolphins Honor Roll.
On February 4, 2017, Jason was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, becoming the 10th "long time" Miami Dolphin to enter Canton, and the 5th Miami Dolphin (joining Paul Warfield, Jim Langer, Don Shula and Dan Marino) to do it his first year of eligibility.
Taylor's wife, Katina, is the sister of former teammate and fellow All-Pro Zach Thomas. He shares the same birthday with Thomas, although Taylor is one year younger. Taylor and his wife have three children: sons Isaiah and Mason, and daughter Zoey. Katina filed for divorce twice in 2006, citing irreconcilable differences and asking for custody of the children, but withdrew the petitions both times. Taylor's sister Joy Taylor is an employee for Fox Sports 1, serving as the moderator for Skip and Shannon: Undisputed.
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 had 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. Although fellow defensive end Andre Carter—who wore number 99 with the Redskins—was willing to let Taylor have the number, Taylor did not press the issue, wanting to "let 99 stay in Miami".
Dancing with the Stars 6Edit
For Further information, see Season 6
Week 2: Judge Len Goodman told Taylor, "You're a winner," after Taylor and Śliwińska'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 Śliwińska 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.
Week 6: Taylor and Śliwińska danced the Cha-Cha-Cha and scored a 24. Judge Goodman said they "captured the flavor of the dance." 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 26. Taylor wore eye black as part of his costume. The combined score of 55 was tops among all dancing duos for Week 7. They were asked to perform their Quickstep as an encore on the results show.
Week 8: Taylor and Śliwińska 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 Śliwińska danced their quickstep from Week 7 and got their 1st perfect score 30/30. Taylor said to Kristi Yamaguchi, "Kristi, it does feel good."
|Week #||Dance/Song||Judges' score||Result|
|1||Foxtrot/ "Pride and Joy"||7||8||7||No elimination|
|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"|
Country Western/"Cotton-Eyed Joe"
|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"|
Quickstep/ "The Dirty Boogie"
- Jason was the first active NFL player to compete on Dancing with the Stars.
- He was also the first defensive lineman (defensive end) to compete.