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NFL Notebook

Taylor signs on with Jets

Sack leader didn’t wait for Dolphins

Ex-Dolphin Jason Taylor is bringing his pass-rushing skills to the Meadowlands. Ex-Dolphin Jason Taylor is bringing his pass-rushing skills to the Meadowlands. (Wilfred Lee/ File/ Associated Press)
Associated Press / April 21, 2010

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Booed and despised by Jets fans for years, Jason Taylor is now on their side.

The former Dolphins linebacker agreed to terms with the AFC East-rival New York Jets on a two-year contract yesterday, according to a person familiar with the deal.

It’s another bold offseason move by New York that bolsters the league’s No. 1 defense with a fierce pass rusher.

“My expectation is that Jason will be a Jet tomorrow,’’ coach Rex Ryan said during a conference call. “We feel great about that.’’

Because of the league’s “Final Eight’’ restrictions, the Jets could only pay Taylor $1.75 million in base salary this season.

The 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year visited the Jets two weeks ago but left without a deal, pondering whether to sign with New York or wait to see if Miami would re-sign him after the draft. After vacationing in Costa Rica last weekend, Taylor decided to go with the Jets.

“Clearly, this is one of the premier players in the game, one of the premier pass rushers in the game,’’ Ryan said. “We expect Jason to play a bunch and be a major contributor to our defense.’’

Taylor, the NFL’s active sack leader (127 1/2) who’ll turn 36 in September, joins a team he has long considered an enemy. And, the feeling was mutual among Jets fans.

Steelers get Leftwich
The Steelers reacquired quarterback Byron Leftwich by dealing a seventh-round pick in this weekend’s draft to Tampa Bay, a sign they expect Ben Roethlisberger to be suspended for the start of the season. Leftwich backed up Roethlisberger in 2008, when the Steelers won the Super Bowl. He knows offensive coordinator Bruce Arians’s system and could be ready to play Sept. 12 when the Steelers open against Atlanta . . . The Rams traded defensive tackle Adam Carriker to the Redskins for a late-round pick in this weekend’s draft . . . The Seahawks signed veteran guard Ben Hamilton, who played in 15 games for the Broncos last season.

NFL donates to BU
The NFL is donating $1 million for the study of brain injuries to Boston University School of Medicine. The money will support the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy’s research into the long-term effects of repetitive brain trauma in athletes, particularly football players. The NFL is the first league to support financially this research . . . A 22-year-old hotel receptionist has filed a lawsuit against Colts defensive tackle Eric Foster, claiming he sexually assaulted her in his room before January’s AFC Championship Game in Indianapolis. The complaint accuses Foster of luring the woman into his room at University Place Hotel Jan. 24 before the Colts played the Jets under the pretense that there was a maintenance problem. Once she was in his room, Foster exposed himself, touched and groped the woman, and forced her to “engage in deviate sexual acts,’’ the complaint alleges.

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