The Miami Dolphins will see their tenth member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer when defensive end Jason Taylor is inducted. Taylor was drafted by the Dolphins in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft, playing 13 of his 15 years in South Florida. On Monday, Taylor announced via Twitter that the Dolphins’ head coach when the team selected Taylor out of Akron, Jimmy Johnson, will be presenting him at the Hall of Fame in August.
“I really took my time with this decision,” Taylor said in his announcement video, “but the more I thought about it, the same name always rose to the top of the list. So I am excited and honored to tell you that my presenter will be the guy that believed in me from day one. He took a chance on an undersized defensive end, and never looked back. He gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. None other, than Jimmy Johnson.”
Johnson coached the Dolphins from 1996 through 1999 before retiring from football. After Taylor’s announcement, Johnson tweeted:
Taylor will be the first member of the Dolphins inducted into the Hall of Fame since quarterback Dan Marino was inducted in 2005. The other Dolphins in the Hall of Fame include wide receiver Paul Warfield (Class of 1983), fullback Larry Csonka (1987), center Jim Langer (1987), quarterback Bob Griese (1990), guard Larry Little (1983), head coach Don Shula (1997), center Dwight Stephenson (1998), and linebacker Nick Buoniconti (2001). Buffalo Bills running back Thurman Thomas was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007 after spending the 2000 season with Miami, while Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cris Carter was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013 after spending the 2002 season with the Dolphins and San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2015 after playing with the Dolphins from 2003 to 2005.
In Taylor’s 13 years with Miami, he recorded 131 sacks, with 710 tackles, eight interceptions with three touchdowns, 62 passes defensed, 43 forced fumbles, 27 fumble recoveries with six touchdowns, and two safeties. He added 8.5 sacks, 65 tackles, 15 passes defensed, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries in two seasons away from Miami, one with the New York Jets and one with the Washington Redskins. Taylor’s six fumble returns for a touchdown is an NFL record, while his 139.5 career sacks ranks seventh all time. He was selected to six Pro Bowls in his career, with three First-Team All-Pro selections. He was named the 2006 AP Defensive Player of the Year and the 2007 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year.
The rest of the 2017 Hall of Fame class includes San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who, like Taylor, was elected in his first year of eligibility; New Orleans Saints kicker Morten Andersen; Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis; Seattle Seahawks safety Kenny Easley; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones; and St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner. The induction ceremony will be held at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio on August 5.