The Washington Redskins have acquired former NFL Defensive MVP Jason Taylor from the Miami Dolphins for a pair of draft picks. The Redskins need for a defensive end became apparent after two players had their seasons' ended on the opening day of training camp.
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 six-time Pro Bowl defensive end—who was the 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year—fell out of favor in Miami after spending his offseason on the TV show Dancing With The Stars rather than working out with teammates.
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 one of training camp.
He was quickly followed by reserve Alex Buzbee.
When he later announced the deal with the Dolphins, Washington executive vice president Vinny Cerrato said Taylor was expected to report to the Redskins on Monday—something the player's agent, Gary Wichard, confirmed.
"We're fortunate there was a guy that caliber on the market when somebody got hurt," Cerrato said. "Normally, in most years, there's not a guy of that caliber on the market."
The 33-year old Taylor has played 11 NFL seasons, and he's started every game each of the past eight years. He had 11 sacks during the 2007 season, giving him 117 over his career.
"His play speaks for itself. I think it's easy to talk about Jason Taylor. He's got statistics and everything else to back up everything that he's done," Cerrato said. "So we had to act after losing our starting defensive end Phillip Daniels, and talked to Parcells after practice today and we were able to work something out."
Taylor said last month that his intention is to play one more season, and it seems clear that he wants to pursue a Hollywood acting career. That said, Taylor privately has told confidants that he isn't certain that he'll retire after 2008.
Cerrato noted that Taylor has two years left on his contract and added: "I'm 100 percent positive he'll play longer than one year."
Wichard said it's possible Taylor will play beyond the coming season.
"The Dolphins got real good value for Jason," Wichard said. "And he's excited about going to Washington—he wanted an opportunity to compete in the playoffs in 2008. At the same time, this is the end of his years with the Dolphins, so it's kind of bittersweet."
The new Dolphins' regime, led by Parcells, the executive vice president of football operations, fumed this offseason, as Taylor focused on non-football interests rather than working out in South Florida.
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 that the Dolphins were intent on making a trade—especially because in April they had drafted two potential replacements for him: Clemson's Phillip Merling in the second round, and Hampton's Kendall Langford in the third round.
Last season, Taylor was chosen NFL Man of the Year and was the lone Pro Bowl player from a Dolphins team that went 1-15. His departure is the latest move in a major roster shakeup.
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 seven-on-seven offense vs. defense drills Sunday. 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.
"Not a good way to start, at all," middle linebacker London Fletcher said. "It's a big blow to our defense. Phil was a tremendous leader, excellent at playing the run, and was going to be our third-down attack guy. With him going down, it's like we're replacing two guys."
Daniels has played 12 seasons in the NFL with Washington, Chicago, and Seattle, accumulating 59 sacks.
"With Phillip gone, and now Buzbee gone, there's a hole there," Washington's Jim Zorn said after running his first training camp practice as an NFL head coach. "And Phillip has created a big hole."
One quickly filled with the trade for Taylor.