Taylor salutes fans with full-page ads

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
DAVIE, Fla. -- Jason Taylor saluted the fans who cheered him for 11 seasons with an impressive gesture in Sunday morning's editions of the Miami Herald and Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.

Readers were greeted with a full-page photo of Taylor waving toward the stands at a Dolphins game and this message:

I thank you. I thank you for your LOYALTY. I take you for CARING. I thank you for your SUPPORT. For 11 years you have been the greatest fans in the world, and no words can describe how much I appreciate you all. While I may be wearing a new uniform this year, a piece of my heart will always be in Miami.

Taylor's farewell note was classy and probably intended to heal some wounds.

The Miami Dolphins ended a drawn-out, offseason soap opera on Sunday, trading Taylor to the Washington Redskins for a pair of draft picks.

Taylor stirred considerable resentment from local fans for missing much of the new staff's offseason conditioning program to participate in ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" and then skipping other workouts once he was done getting spray-on tans and wearing pantaloons.

Fans grew wary of the rift between Taylor and the front office and wanted it to end.

But Taylor was a warrior on the field and set a slew of club records. He is the NFL's reigning Walter Payton Man of the Year and raised millions of dollars of local youths through his Jason Taylor Foundation. Perhaps no other athlete has done so much for the South Florida community.

Taylor's adieu wasn't cheap. For those who've only taken out a classified ad to sell your lawnmower and aren't up on newspaper ad rates, full-page ads, especially in a Sunday edition, are a couple grand a pop -- slightly more than a Hallmark card.