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Redskins release DE Taylor after one injury-plagued season

WASHINGTON -- Jason Taylor's disappointing tenure with the Washington Redskins came to an end Monday when the defensive end was cut for refusing to commit to the team's offseason workout program.

The Redskins wanted to add a workout clause to the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year's contract, but he declined. The clause would have required Taylor to take part in 25 days of offseason workouts.

"He wanted to spend the offseason with his family," said Taylor's agent, Gary Wichard. "He just kind of chose family over going up there."

The flap is reminiscent of last year, when Taylor clashed with the Miami Dolphins for competing in "Dancing With the Stars" rather than working out with the team during the offseason. Taylor finished second to Kristi Yamaguchi on the reality television show, then was shipped by the Dolphins to the Redskins.

That meant Taylor spent virtually the entire year apart from his wife and children in Florida.

"He had been away for four months in Los Angeles, then he got back to Miami and then he got traded," Wichard said. "He wanted to spend time with his three kids."

The six-time Pro Bowl pick had been considered a possible salary-cap cut in Washington because of the value of his contract, which would have paid him about $8.5 million this season. However, the Redskins were willing to give Taylor the full salary if he had agreed to the workout clause.

Instead, Taylor cost the team two draft picks and gave them one ineffective, injury-plagued season.

Taylor was acquired on the first day of training camp last year after Phillip Daniels went down with a season-ending knee injury. The Redskins gave up a second-round draft pick in 2009 and a sixth-round selection in 2010.

But Taylor, who was healthy for nearly all of his 11 seasons in Miami, sprained his knee during the preseason and then suffered a calf injury during a Sept. 21 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Taylor required an emergency operation to have blood drained from his calf and had a second procedure about one month later.

2008 Statistics
Tackles: 29

Sacks: 3.5

Forced Fumbles: 1

The calf injury caused Taylor to miss three games and hampered him for much of the season. Also, he struggled to fit into a Redskins defensive scheme that gave him less freedom than he had with the Dolphins. Taylor, whose 120.5 career sacks are the most among active NFL players, had only 3.5 for the Redskins, his lowest season total since 1999.

"He played hurt," Washington head coach Jim Zorn said in a statement released by the team, "but still gave his best effort to be prepared and play hard every week."

The move rules out a chance for the Redskins to field a defensive line that would consist of three renowned sack-masters: Taylor, Andre Carter and Albert Haynesworth, who on Friday signed a seven-year, $100 million contract with a record-breaking $41 million in guaranteed money.

With Taylor gone, the Redskins are expected to focus on re-signing defensive ends Daniels and Demetric Evans, who became free agents last week.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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