Jason Taylor, the National Football League’s active sacks leader, said he plans to retire following the Miami Dolphins’ Jan. 1 season-ending game against the New York Jets.
Taylor, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, leaves after 15 seasons -- 13 with the Dolphins. The 37-year-old linebacker’s 139 1/2 sacks rank first among active players and sixth in NFL history, 60 1/2 behind career leader Bruce Smith.
“This organization here in the near future is going to make some changes and I think part of those changes is needing to address some personnel positions,” Taylor told reporters after practice yesterday. “This is the right time for me to go ahead and go and allow this organization to grow and improve.”
Taylor was selected by the Dolphins in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft. He had three stints in Miami, with stops at the Washington Redskins in 2008 and Jets in 2010.
“While he may be retiring as a player, he will always remain an integral part of the Dolphin family, contributing to the team and the community he has grown to love,” Dolphins Managing General Partner Stephen M. Ross said in a statement released by the team.
Taylor has seven sacks and a forced fumble in 15 games this season. The Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year in 2006, Taylor has returned six fumbles and three interceptions for touchdowns in his career.
“I am going to go ahead and walk away hopefully healthy, get through this next one, this last one, preferably win the game and sail off in the sunset for a while,” Taylor said.
The Dolphins are 5-10, in last place in the American Football Conference East division.
“If there is one regret I have as an athlete for the last 15 years it’s that I didn’t get a chance to bring a championship to Miami,” Taylor said. “As a team game we all try to do our part and unfortunately it hasn’t worked out.”