Jason Taylor had an exceptional career with the Miami Dolphins and it led him to the Pro Football Hall of Fame but even Taylor was faced with decisions regarding his future in the NFL.
Taylor enjoyed 15 years in the NFL and all of them sans one were productive to a degree. His legacy is filled with Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections and includes a Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
Still, in 2011, Taylor had a decision to make. Hang it up or play for another year. Some would say that Taylor should have hung up his cleats after the 2008 season when he almost lost his life to a leg condition while with the Redskins. That season was reduced to only 13 games but Taylor wasn’t ready to call it yet.
After being traded ahead of the 2008 season by Bill Parcells, Taylor returned to the Dolphins in 2009 when Jeff Ireland signed him to a one-year deal. It was supposed to be more of a swan song farewell. He started 15 of 16 games that year and his production was solid.
In 2010 he opted for yet another season, this time with the New York Jets. In New York, Taylor played in all 16 games but started only five. He had five sacks and 25 solo tackles. Yet again, it was time to hang it up but Taylor wasn’t ready.
In 2011, he rejoined the Dolphins and while he started only two of the 15 games he played in, he posted 7 sacks and 13 solo tackles with one forced fumble. Yet his final game was almost legendary in itself.
On the second to last drive of his final game, coincidentally against the Jets in Miami, Taylor recorded a seven-yard loss sack on Rex Grossman. On the ensuing play, safety Reshad Jones sacked Grossman who fumbled the ball. Taylor took the ball into the endzone for a touchdown but DT Jared Odrick was flagged for being off-sides.
It would be the final series in Taylor’s career and would have been the absolutely perfect ending. Luckily, it served as Taylors final bow in Miami and he retired that off-season.