Dolphins Sign Taylor
Miami, FL - Jason Taylor's newest dance step has him back where he started.
The 34-year-old linebacker signed a $1.5 million, one-year contract Wednesday with the Miami Dolphins, said his agent, Gary Wichard.
Taylor played his first 11 seasons with Miami before being traded to the Washington Redskins - a fallout from his stint on the TV show ``Dancing With the Stars.'' He was released by Washington in March after one injury-plagued season.
The New England Patriots courted Taylor, but he wanted to return to South Florida, where he still lives.
``My heart has always been in Miami, and so I'm truly excited to call myself a Dolphin once again,'' Taylor said in a statement. ``I was presented with a number of different opportunities, but in the end the combination of this being the best situation for my family, my love for this community and my tremendous loyalty to a great organization made this an easy decision.''
he Pro Bowl six times with Miami and was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2006.
The Redskins released Taylor after he turned down a chance to play another season with them for $8.5 million. Taylor didn't like being away from his wife and three children last season and wanted to rejoin the Dolphins regardless of how much money they offered, Wichard said.
``Jason told me, `Tell the Dolphins whatever fits their budget, I'm ready to play,''' Wichard said. ``There were no negotiations. It was always going to be Miami.''
Wichard said he also turned down a couple of movie offers because Taylor didn't want to be away from his family. Taylor has talked often of a movie career after football and helped his Hollywood celebrity a year ago on ``Dancing With the Stars.''
But his success on the show soured his relationship with new Dolphins boss Bill Parcells, who fumed that Taylor was in California rather than spending the offseason working out with teammates. Parcells traded Taylor for a pair of draft picks.
The two have patched up their rift, however, and Taylor raves about coach Tony Sparano, who in his first season led the Dolphins to the AFC East title and their first playoff berth since 2001.
While the Dolphins enjoyed a turnaround, Taylor struggled to stay healthy after missing only four games with Miami.
over Arizona on Sept. 21. Taylor required an operation to have blood drained from his calf and a second procedure a month later.
The calf injury hampered Taylor much of the season, and he struggled to fit into a Redskins' defensive scheme that gave him less freedom than he had with the Dolphins. He had only 3 1/2 for the Redskins, his lowest total since 1999.
The Dolphins had little pass rush last season aside from outside linebacker Joey Porter, who led the AFC with 17 1/2 sacks. Taylor's 120 1/2 career sacks are the most among active players, and he could line up opposite Porter this year.
Parcells didn't take a pass rusher in the April draft, a signal he might be open to a reunion with Taylor.
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Posted: 5/15/09 12:15 AM ET