Taylor takes less money for Miami return

Updated: May 14, 2009, 10:03 AM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

Jason Taylor danced with the stars more than a year ago, but he sacrificed more than $7 million this year to stay close to his family and play football in Miami.

Taylor agreed to a one-year, $1.1 million deal Wednesday with the Miami Dolphins. The move allows him to stay at his Miami home with his wife and three children. It also allows him to rejoin an organization he considers to be an extended part of his family.

There are $400,000 of additional incentives in the agreement, which Taylor and his agent, Gary Wichard, confirmed was reached Wednesday.

Taylor
Taylor

The new deal is $7 million less than what Taylor could have earned this year with the Washington Redskins. On March 2, Taylor walked away from the $8.5 million he was scheduled to make from the Redskins when he refused to spend the offseason at Redskins Park, preferring to spend the offseason with his family.

"My heart has always been in Miami and so I'm truly excited to call myself a Dolphin once again," Taylor said in a statement. "I was presented with a number of different opportunities, but in the end the combination of this being the best situation for my family, my love for this community and my tremendous loyalty to a great organization made this an easy decision."

In the end, money wasn't a factor in his final decision to return to the Dolphins. Earlier this week, he sent word to the Dolphins to put together an offer that fit within their budget and salary cap. Because he had been averaging $7 million a year since the early 2000s, Taylor wasn't under any financial pressure to play.

Jason Taylor back in Miami

NFL.com Video

Chris Cooley talks about Jason Taylor returning to the Dolphins.

"Jason told me, 'Tell the Dolphins whatever fits their budget, I'm ready to play,'" Wichard said. "There were no negotiations. It was always going to be Miami."

When asked if the decision to take Taylor back was difficult, Bill Parcells, Miami's executive vice president of football operations, told ESPN, "If we can get Lawrence Taylor to come back, we'll take him, too."

The Redskins released Taylor when he told them he wouldn't participate in the offseason workouts because it was more important to spend time with his family, which wasn't moving north to be with him during the season. He's also resisted two lucrative movie deals because they would cause him to spend time away from home.

Taylor also resisted the temptation to sign with the New England Patriots, who were willing to offer him more than the deal he accepted in Miami.

More than a dozen teams expressed interest in Taylor once he was released, but he kept every team on hold for a couple of months while he invested his time with his family.

A six-time Pro Bowl selection and 2006 defensive player of the year, Taylor is one of the game's best pass-rushers, with 120½ career sacks.

He was traded to the Redskins last year for a second-round choice in 2009 and a sixth-round choice in 2010. Part of the reason the Dolphins traded him was Taylor's offseason participation in "Dancing With The Stars," in which he finished second and received national acclaim.

Taylor is entering his 13th season. Even though he agreed to a one-year deal with the Dolphins, he's told friends he'd like to play three more seasons if possible.

John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer