Commentary

Taylor-made fit between Redskins, former Dolphins DE

Updated: July 21, 2008, 6:32 PM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

Jason Taylor was destined to dance with Dan Snyder and the Redskins, but it took the first day of practice for Taylor's reality show to head to Washington.

As Taylor entered the offseason, the lifelong Dolphin knew it was time for a change. Dolphins executive vice president of football operations Bill Parcells was bringing in the third rebuilding plan for the Dolphins in four years. Knowing he'd be 34 years old this fall and disappointed by the failed rebuilding efforts of Nick Saban and Cam Cameron, Taylor wanted a chance at the playoffs. He didn't want another season on a team that might be a couple of years away from winning.

[+] EnlargeJason Taylor
Scott Boehm/Getty ImagesJason Taylor has been a sack expert for the Miami Dolphins for 11 seasons.

The Redskins were the logical team all along. First, Washington has been a playoff contender the past couple of years. Second, the Redskins have an owner, Snyder, who always is willing to bring in big-name players. Third, Washington has been looking for a defensive end with double-digit sack ability the past two seasons.

It also didn't hurt that Taylor became a television superstar while finishing second on "Dancing With the Stars." Hollywood studios have shown interest in his post-NFL-career acting ability because he showed he could bring 25 million loyal viewers to watch the show. Snyder has his own ties to Hollywood in a business relationship with Tom Cruise, but it was Redskins football that brought both sides together.

For the Redskins, the price -- second- and sixth-round draft picks -- was worth it. Defensive end was their thinnest position. The first-day practice losses of Phillip Daniels and Alex Buzbee on Sunday left them with only nine healthy defensive linemen. Erasmus James is the 10th defensive lineman left on the roster, but he's on the physically unable to perform list recovering from years of knee problems.

Snyder and general manager Vinny Cerrato had prepared for a rainy day, but they were being careful this offseason. They had more than $9 million in cap room so they could make a quick trade. They had 10 rookie draft choices and all but a fourth-round choice from their stash of 2009 selections. If Taylor can solidify the defensive line, the price was worth it.

Parcells showed that patience can be a virtue in making trades. Many people in the organization suggested to Parcells that he release Taylor and move on if the player really didn't want to be there. Parcells knew Taylor was a valuable asset on and off the field, so he waited. When the Redskins called Sunday, he was willing to make a quick deal.

For a rebuilding team, the Dolphins will be better served by having more draft picks. For a playoff contender, Taylor could be worth an extra win or two in the tough NFC East.

Senior writer John Clayton covers the NFL for ESPN.com.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer

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