WASHINGTON — Jason Taylor will have plenty of time to dance on TV this year.
The former NFL defensive player of the year’s disappointing turn in the nation’s capital came to an end Monday when he was cut by the Washington Redskins for refusing to commit to the team’s offseason workout program.
The Redskins wanted to add a workout clause to Taylor’s hefty contract, but the 34-year-old defensive end declined. The clause would have required Taylor to take part in 25 days of offseason workouts.
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 in the offseason. Taylor finished second to Kristi Yamaguchi on the reality television show.
The six-time Pro Bowl end had been considered a possible salary cap cut in Washington because of the value of his contract, which would have paid him a salary of about $8.5 million this season. The Redskins, however, were willing to give him the full salary if he had agreed to the workout clause.
Instead, Taylor turns out to be another expensive Redskins bust, one who cost the team two draft picks and gave them one ineffective, injury-plagued season.
Taylor was acquired from the Dolphins on the first day of training camp 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 preseason and then suffered an unusual calf injury during the win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 21. Taylor required an emergency to operation to have blood drained from his calf and had a second procedure about a month later.
The calf injury caused him to miss three games and hampered Taylor 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 1/2 career sacks are the most among active players, had only 3 1/2 for the Redskins, his lowest season total since 1999.
“He played hurt,” 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 moves 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.