|Dolphins trade Taylor to Redskins|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 20 July 2008 21:16|
With that, the Taylor soap opera in Miami was over.
On Sunday, the Redskins gave the Dolphins a second-round pick in 2009 and a sixth-round choice in 2010 for Taylor, who is leaving the only NFL team he's known. The deal came about nine hours after starting defensive end Phillip Daniels was carted away from the practice field at Redskins Park with a season-ending left knee injury on Day 1 of training camp.
Taylor, a six-time Pro Bowl defensive end, fell out of favor in the new Bill Parcells regime in Miami after spending his offseason on TV's ``Dancing With the Stars'' rather than working out with teammates.
Taylor was expected to report to the Redskins on Monday, when he'll meet team owner Dan Snyder and undergo a physical.
``We're fortunate there was a guy that caliber on the market when somebody got hurt,'' executive vice president Vinny Cerrato said. ``Normally, in most years, there's not a guy of that caliber on the market.''
The 33-year-old Taylor played 11 seasons in Miami, and he started every game each of the past eight years. He was the 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
``I love Miami (and) will always cherish my 11 years with the Dolphins,'' Taylor said in a statement. ``Having said that, I'm looking forward to meeting with Mr. Snyder and getting to know my new coaches and teammates. I'm just proud to be representing our nation's capital as a Redskin.''
Taylor had 11 sacks during the 2007 season, giving him 117 for his career. He wants to pursue an acting career, but his agent, Gary Wichard, said it's possible Taylor will play beyond the coming season.
``He's excited about going to Washington - he wanted an opportunity to compete in the playoffs in 2008,'' Wichard said. ``At the same time, this is the end of his years with the Dolphins, so it's kind of bittersweet.''
Parcells, the Dolphins' executive vice president of football operations, fumed this offseason as Taylor focused on non-football interests rather than working out in South Florida.
Taylor finished second to Kristi Yamaguchi in this year's ``Dancing With the Stars'' competition in Los Angeles, and as he became a TV celebrity, his feud with Parcells escalated. At one point Taylor said he was unhappy he had spoken ``probably less than a minute each'' with Parcells and new general manager Jeff Ireland - something the player perceived as a sort of silent treatment.
In mid-May, Dolphins coach Tony Sparano made a cryptic announcement that Taylor wasn't expected to take part in any team activities through training camp. That signaled the Dolphins were intent on making a trade - especially because in April, they had drafted two potential replacements for Taylor: Clemson's Phillip Merling in the second round, and Hampton's Kendall Langford in the third round.
The Dolphins released statements from Ireland and owner Wayne Huizenga thanking Taylor for his contributions. There was no comment from Parcells.
``Ever since he joined the team as a rookie, he has been outstanding on the field and a leader in our community,'' Huizenga said. ``Whether it was his intensity between the lines or his commitment to his charitable works, he made a lasting impact here.''
If the trade had not been made, Wichard said, Taylor planned to report to the Dolphins before their camp starts Saturday. There had been speculation Taylor might hold out.
Last season, he was chosen NFL Man of the Year and was the lone Pro Bowl player for a Dolphins team that went 1-15. His departure is the latest move in a major roster shakeup.
Zach Thomas, the other anchor of the Dolphins' defense over the past decade, was released in February and signed with the Dallas Cowboys - meaning he and Taylor, who are brothers-in-law, go from being teammates to being members of NFC East rivals.
In Miami, Taylor played primarily at right end, but Cerrato said Washington will move him to the left side, where Daniels was the starter. Andre Carter plays right defensive end for the Redskins.
Daniels tore a left knee ligament on the initial play of 7-on-7 offense vs. defense drills. He stayed down on the turf for several minutes before being taken away on a cart, a towel draped over his head. He's expected to have surgery Friday.
AP Sports Writer Steven Wine in Miami contributed to this report.