If NFL players wore badges and pins like army generals, Jason Taylor’s apparel would be decked out with them. The NFL defensive end may be retired now, but his record and recognitions continue to inspire a new generation of players.
After being drafted in 1997, Jason spent his entire career with the Miami Dolphins, save for two seasons where he played for the Washington Redskins and the New York Jets. He holds various NFL sack and fumble records that will make any defensive end green with envy. In his playing days, Jason was a six-time Pro Bowler, a four-time All-Pro and a myriad of other awards.
He joined the other Hall of Famers before him in 2017 when he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Jason Taylor’s Bio
Jason Paul Taylor’s life on earth began on September 1, 1974, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he was born and also raised. Taylor played football during his time at Woodland Hills High School and the University of Akron, continuing to hone his talent along the way.
His time at the University saw him play for the football and basketball teams. He won numerous honors such as the All-Mid-American Conference (junior and senior year). In 2004, he became only the third person in the history of the Akron Zips basketball team to earn a place in the Akron’s Ring of Honor. Taylor was a letterman for his four years at Akron and a starter for three of those years. He would later graduate with a degree in political science and criminal justice.
Jason went pro with the Miami Dolphins after he was selected as the 73rd overall pick by the franchise at the 1997 NBA Draft. Signed to a four-year deal worth $1.3 million, it did not take long for the defensive end to assert himself on the team’s roster. He became a starter in his rookie season and recorded five sacks. By his third season in 1999, the established player gained his first NFL interception. He would go on to earn seven more throughout the course of his career.
After playing the 2000 season on a one-year tender deal and earning a place in his first Pro Bowl, Justin was rewarded with a six-year contract worth $42 million on July 24, 2001.
By the time Jason was leaving the Dolphins at the end of the 2007 campaign, he had garnered four more Pro Bowl call-ups and the fourth All-Pro selection of his career. He was also named NFL Defensive Player of the Year for his efforts in the 2006 season and was named to the All-time Miami Dolphins team in 2007.
Moving away from the Dolphins, Jason Taylor signed on with the Washington Redskins on July 20, 2008. However, his time with the team was just seven months long as he was let go on March 2, 2009, because he had refused to participate in off-season conditioning drills.
He returned to the Dolphins for the 2009 season and in a game against the New York Jets on November 1, 2009, he became the NFL record holder for most returned fumbles for a touchdown and most defensive touchdowns by a defensive lineman. He was traded to the New York Jets for the 2010 season where he was involved in his first Conference Championship game.
After he was let go by the Jets due to a subpar 2010 campaign, he returned to the Dolphins for his third stint with the team and what was the last season of his career. After announcing his retirement in December 2011, Taylor’s final game came in a victory over his immediate former team, the New York Jets on January 1, 2012.
Jason retired with some prestigious NFL records. He was sixth on the league’s all-time sack list and sat at the top spot for most defensive touchdowns by a defensive lineman. He also garnered 47 career-forced fumbles, 29 recovered fumbles, with six of those returned for touchdowns.
In 2012, Jason became a football analyst for ESPN and became a member of the Miami Dolphins Honor Roll. The retired footballer also sits as a member of the board of the NFL Foundation.
Family: Parents, Siblings, Sister
The 6 feet 6 inches former defensive end was born to his parents Anthony Taylor and Georgia Taylor. Through his parents, Jason gained six siblings, one brother and five sisters.
One of his sisters, Joy Taylor is a sports analyst known mostly for her time in Miami co-hosting 790 AM the Ticket’s top-rated radio sports show Zaslow and Joy Show. She eventually moved on to Fox Sports’ FS! where she became the moderator of the sports debate show, Skip and Shannon: Undisputed with Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe as commentators. She subsequently became the moderator of FS1’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd.
Girlfriend, Wife, and Children
The ex-NFL player married his former teammate Zach Thomas’ sister, Katina sometime in 2001. The couple had three children: two boys, Isaiah and Mason, and a daughter, Zoey. While they were together, Jason and Katina were involved in various charity projects especially through the footballer’s charity the Jason Taylor Foundation.
The first evidence of conflict in the marriage became visible in 2006 after Katina filed for divorce twice. She would later withdraw the petitions. The couple finally went through with the annulment of the union in 2015.
After his separation from Katina, Taylor began going out with Monica Velasco who is a cheerleader for the Miami Dolphins. She accompanied him in 2017 to the ceremony where he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.