Jason Taylor doesn't want to make this about him although, of course, it is totally about him.
He confirmed this afternoon what I wrote about in my column this morning and that is he is indeed retiring after Sunday's season-ending game for the Dolphins against the New York Jets.
"Unfortunately this will be my last game as a Miami Dolphin and a professional football player," Taylor said. "I look forward to enjoying this week and soaking it all in the next few days. Obviously, we have a game left to play. So while there will be time for thank yous and good-byes this is not the time. But I will say this will be my last game as an NFL football player so I look forward to it."
Why is Taylor leaving? Obviously he is 37 years old and would be 38 when the 2012 season begins next September. Taylor realizes this is a younger man's game and realizes the Dolphins are going to get younger.
"This organization in the near future is going to make some changes and part of those changes is needing to address some personnel positions and this is the right time for me to go ahead and go and allow this organization to grow and improve," he said.
Taylor spoke from the heart and did admit he leaves the game with one regret.
"If there's one regret I have as an athlete the last 15 years its that I didn't get a chance to bring a championship to Miami and be part of that and help bring it to Miami," he said. "... There's a lot of by-products that come with playing the game -- the fame, the money. But at the end of the day we all want to win. And, unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to do that. As my career comes to an end that's one thing that like so many other great players, I haven't had a chance to do that. That's my one regret."
Any chance he'll ever return? I think there is a chance. But the truth is Taylor intends to pursue a career in the media and television. And he's not going to leave that to chase some end-of-season lark, say, next December. I do leave the door of possibility open should Taylor not be in the media.
But he will be and he puts locks and chains on his door.
"Look, Sunday is my last game," Taylor said. "I'm going to go ahead and walk away -- hopefully healthy ... I'm not even going to leave the door open for any of that stuff. As a matter of fact, I might even change my cell phone number so they can't get me."
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