If NFL players like army generals wore badges and pins, Jason Taylor’s clothes would be decorated with them. The defensive end of the NFL defense may be retired now, but his record and recognition continue to inspire a new generation of players.
After being drafted in 1997, Jason Taylor spent his entire career with the Miami Dolphins, except for two seasons playing for the Washington Redskins and the New York Jets. He holds several NFL sack and fumble records that make any defense green with envy. During his active career, Jason has been a six-time professional bowler, four-time All-Pro, and a host of other awards.
He entered 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 grew up. Taylor played football during his time at Woodland Hills High School and the University of Akron and continued to refine his talent.
During his time at the university, he played for the football and basketball teams. He won numerous honors such as the All-Mid-Mid-American Conference (Junior and Senior Year). In 2004 he was only the third person in the history of the Akron Zips basketball team to receive a place in Akron’s Ring of Honor. Taylor served as a letterman during his four years with Akron and as a starter during three of those years. He later graduated in political science and criminal justice.
Jason became a professional with the Miami Dolphins after finishing 73rd in the 1997 NBA Draft, signing a four-year contract worth $1.3 million, and it wasn’t long before the defensive end of the team roster took hold. He became a starter in his rookie season and picked up five sacks. In his third season in 1999, the established player made his first NFL interception. He earned seven more as his career progressed.
After playing in a year-long bidding process in the 2000 season and winning a spot in his first Pro Bowl, Justin was rewarded with a six-year contract worth $42 million on July 24, 2001.
By the time Jason left the Dolphins at the end of the 2007 campaign, he had already received four more Pro Bowl calls and the fourth All-Pro selection of his career. He was also named NFL Defensive Player of the Year for his efforts during the 2006 season and was named to the Miami Dolphins’ all-time team in 2007.
Jason Taylor left the Dolphins and signed with the Washington Redskins on July 20, 2008. However, his time on the team lasted only seven months, as he was dismissed on March 2, 2009, for refusing to participate in off-season conditioning exercises.
He returned to the Dolphins for the 2009 season, and in a match against the New York Jets on November 1, 2009, he became the NFL record holder for the most fumbles returned in a touchdown and the most defensive touchdowns by a defender. For the 2010 season, he was transferred to the New York Jets, where he participated in his first conference championship game.
After being dismissed by the Jets due to a below-average 2010 season, he returned to the Dolphins for his third tour with the team, the last season of his career. After announcing his resignation in December 2011, Taylor won his last game on January 1, 2012, with a win over his immediate predecessor, the New York Jets.
Jason retired with some prestigious NFL records. He was sixth on the list of players who have ever played in the league and led the way in most defensive touchdowns by a defender. He also collected 47 career-related fumbles, 29 recovered from fumbles, six of which returned for touchdowns.
In 2012, Jason became an ESPN football analyst and a member of the Miami Dolphins Honor Roll. The retired footballer is also a member of the NFL Foundation Board of Directors.
Girlfriend, Wife, and Children
The former NFL player married the sister of his former teammate Zach Thomas, Katina, 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 charitable projects, most notably through the Jason Taylor Foundation, the footballer’s charity.
The first signs of conflict in the marriage became apparent in 2006 after Katina filed for divorce twice. Later, she withdrew the lawsuits. The couple finally went through with the annulment of the marriage in 2015.
After his separation from Katina, Taylor began dating Monica Velasco, who is a cheerleader for the Miami Dolphins. She accompanied him to the ceremony in 2017 where he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Family: Parents, Siblings, Sister
The 6 foot 6-inch tall 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 best known for her time in Miami and co-hosting the 790 AM the Ticket’s top-rated radio sports show, Zaslow and Joy Show. She eventually moved to Fox Sports’ FS! where she hosted the sports debate show Skip and Shannon: Undisputed with Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe as commentators. She then became the host of FS1’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd.