via press release:
Jason Taylor Joins ESPN as NFL Analyst
Former NFL Defensive Player of the Year and Six-Time Pro Bowler to Appear on NFL Live, NFL32, SportsCenter and Contribute to Countdown Shows
Former NFL Defensive Player of the Year and six-time Pro Bowler Jason Taylor is joining ESPN as a NFL studio analyst. The standout defensive end/linebacker will appear on NFL Live, NFL32 and SportsCenter, in addition to contributing to Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown. Scheduled to start later this offseason, Taylor will also make regular appearances on ESPN Radio.
Taylor played 15 NFL seasons, most notably for the Miami Dolphins (1997-2007, 2009 and 2011). He also spent a year with both the Washington Redskins (2008) and New York Jets (2010). He ranks sixth all-time on the NFL career sacks list (139.5) and is the all-time leader in fumble returns for touchdowns (six). His career statistics include 773 tackles, eight interceptions and 47 forced fumbles. He officially announced his NFL retirement in December 2011.
Taylor led the NFL with 18.5 sacks in 2002 though many consider 2006 to be his best season as a pro when he was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, registering 13.5 sacks, nine forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions, both of which were returned for touchdowns. He was named to the NFL 2000’s All-Decade Team and a Pro Bowler in 2000, 2002, and 2004-2007.
“Jason worked as a guest analyst in studio on a few shows last year and we were extremely impressed with his performance and the depth of knowledge he was able to share with viewers,” said Seth Markman, ESPN senior coordinating producer for NFL studio shows. “He comes across as smooth on the air as he was in rushing the passer all those years as a player, and we expect him to make a big impact right away on our ESPN team.”
“For the past 15 NFL seasons, I walked into a locker room, players’ lounge or training room and always knew that a television would be tuned in to ESPN,” said Taylor. “I am extremely excited to be joining their team now and look forward to contributing to analysis that is regarded by players, coaches and fans as the worldwide leader in NFL and overall sports coverage.”
Widely praised for his charitable work, Taylor received the prestigious Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award in 2007. He was also named twice to The Sporting News “Good Guys” and was honored by CBS Sports’ James Brown with a JB Award for his commitment to build better communities and stronger families. He continues to live in South Florida, where his Jason Taylor Foundation (founded in 2004) remains committed to improving the lives of children.
Away from the gridiron, Taylor and his partner Edyta Sliwinska finished runner-up in season 6 of the popular ABC reality series Dancing with the Stars in 2008.