- By Mac
Jason Taylor played his final game in the NFL as the Dolphins season came to an. A long way from the ‘good but not great player’ scouts claimed as Miami selected him in the third round in 1997 Draft. He also played for the Washington Redskins in 2008 and the New York Jets in 2010. He retires as the NFL’s active sacks leader, but is he a Hall of Famer?
Jason Taylor is also known for being a great guy off the field. He has Jason Taylor Foundation and in 2007 won the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award…. But none of that matters for the Hall. They don’t care if you’re a good guy or not… Lawrence Taylor is in. But should Jason be?
He played 15 seasons, a remarkable stint for a defensive lineman. He played in 204 games with the Dolphins, ranking second to Dan Marino’s 242. He had a major impact on the sport as a top pass rusher, finishing 6th all time with 139 1/2 career sacks. That is a staggering amount and he will finish his career trailing only Bruce Smith, Reggie White, Kevin Greene, Chris Doleman and Michael Strahan. Strahan by only 2.
His best season was in 2006, when he was chosen NFL Defensive Player of the Year. That season he had 13 1/2 sacks, forced 10 fumbles and returned two interceptions for scores.
JT was a member of the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 2000s, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, First-Team All-Pro three times and the 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year
Rex Ryan said. “In my opinion, that’s a no-brainer Hall of Fame player. What a guy. He was a phenomenal teammate here. We only had him the one year, yet he affected the team so positively.”
“I’m proud that I had a chance to coach him for one year,” Ryan said. “What an amazing career, a class act all the way.”
Ryan added, “It’s interesting that he would retire. He’s so full of energy and aspiration and everything else. He was one of those special people you’re lucky to be around.”
Problems include his post season resume isn’t strong. Taylor never played in a Super Bowl, and the last time he made the playoffs with the Dolphins was 10-years ago in 2001. He did help the Jets reached the AFC championship game, in 2010.
While Taylor was always looked at as being good, sometimes great, he was never considered dominant.
Instead Taylor was sometimes looked at as a great player on a great defense that also included at times Zach Thomas and Trace Armstrong. This same Dolphins defense had a secondary led by Patrick Surtain and Sam Madison. All top players who only made JT’s job easier.
Begging the question, was he one of the greatest players to ever play the game?
I can go back and forth on this, as a Miami Fan, I don’t want to be just a fan and say yes. His stats are very nice, but I think most people forget he wasn’t just about sacks. Jason Taylor has more forced fumbles, fumble recoveries, interceptions, and touchdowns then both Bruce Smith and Reggie White.
Taylor has scored nine touchdowns, the most by any defensive lineman entering the league in more than 40-years.
He has four safeties, which ties him for fourth in NFL history and holds a Miami Dolphins record with 27 fumble recoveries.
He has six fumble returns for touchdowns, an NFL record.
Second all-time in fumble recovery yards
Three interceptions returned for touchdowns as a defensive lineman
When you look at the records, and game changing plays he made…
I have to say yes. Jason Taylor is a Hall of Famer….. Just maybe not a first ballot.