Lawrence Taylor is a former professional football player who played for the New York Giants from 1981 to 1994. Lawrence Taylor is often regarded as one of the top football players ever, and arguably the best defensive player ever. Taylor during his time in his career won MVP, defensive player of the year three times, and was near the top of the record books for sacks. Taylor had a bit of a messy personal life off the field with drug problems and legal problems. He also was scammed and lost money in a company he owned. Taylor is best remembered for being the dominant player he was for the Giants, and helping them win two super bowls during his time with the team. While Taylor has a bit of a complicated legacy, he was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999 for his play during his career.
Lawrence Taylor is often regarded as one of the greatest football players ever, and single-handedly changed how the game was played. Taylor's football career started at the University of North Carolina (1978-1981), where he was an All American. Then Lawrence Taylor was drafted 2nd overall by the New York Giants in 1981. In his rookie year, Lawrence Taylor came into the league strong with 133 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 8 passes defended, two forced fumbles, and an interception. Taylor continued his dominance throughout his time in the league and helped the Giants to win two Super Bowls and make the playoffs many times. Lawrence Taylor was so special because he helped change the outside linebacker position from read and react position, to a pass rusher position.
Additionally, L.T. was one of the greatest physical players ever. He was fast enough to run past offensive lineman and strong enough to push right past them. He was so feared that defensive coaches would change their whole gameplans to try to stop him, and not run any plays towards him.
Lawrence Taylor piled up many awards throughout his legendary career with the New York Giants. In Lawrence Taylor's first 9 seasons he was first team All Pro. Taylor also made 10 pro bowls during his career. L.T. 's defensive dominance helped the Giants make it to and win two Super Bowls. Lawrence Taylor's best season came in 1986 when he got 20.5 sacks, 105 tackles, five passes defended, and two forced fumbles. This effort earned him not only a Defensive Player of the year award, but also an NFL MVP. He is one of the only defensive players to ever win the award (the other being Alan Page in 1971). Taylor is also tied for the records with three defensive player of the year awards throughout his career.
At the time of Lawrence Taylor's retirement, he had the second most career sacks at 132.5, and the third most sacks in a season with 20.5 sacks. At the end of his career, Taylor was inducted into the pro football Hall of Fame in 1999.
Lawrence Taylor was born February 4th, 1959 in Williamsburg, Virginia. He was raised alongside two brothers, and initially was interested more in baseball until he played football in 11th grade. Taylor then went to the University of North Carolina where he became a football star and the captain of the team. After he was drafted in 1981 he had a great rookie season, and didn't slow down dominating the league for over a decade.
Taylor was first married in 1981 to Debroah Taylor and had three children. He has married and divorced two other times and in total has 7 children. Taylor finally started declining in 1990 when Roy Handley became coach, and decided to hang it up 4 years later in 1994. Lawrence Taylor has also appeared in movies and TV like The Waterboy and "The Sopranos," and was a football commentator for years too.
Lawrence Taylor is one of the most dominant players ever. However, off the field Taylor has had many problems. He was involved in a crash from reckless driving in 1981. Then Lawrence Taylor had other off the field issues having tested positive for drugs twice and getting suspended for thirty days for his second violation in 1988. After his career ended in 1995 he had to check into rehab for these problems.
While Lawrence Taylor was one of the most dominant players ever, contracts during his time in the league weren't massive. Moreover, Taylor was also not great with his money spending it on things he shouldn't. He has had three divorces and numerous legal cases which have also lost him money too. On top of all this he lost thousands of dollars in his company All Pro Products as he was defrauded by a firm that short sold his socks and bankrupted the company. All of this has left him with a net worth of around $200 thousand.
Lawrence Taylor's impact on the game of football is bigger than just his plays on the field. Taylor's true impact came through how he changed how things were done on offense and defense. Taylor was the first true outside linebacker to start rushing the passer (quarterback), which had never been done before. Additionally, offensive coordinators started having to instruct offensive lineman to start picking up blitzing linebackers which also wasn't done before L.T.
Lawrence Taylor has done lots of other work outside of football since he left the sport. Taylor worked on TV shows and movies like Shaft and The Waterboy. Additionally, Taylor also has lent his voice to video games like Grand Theft Auto and Blitz. Furthermore, Lawrence Taylor also had a one-off wrestling experience against Bam Bam Bigelow in Wrestlemania XI, which he won. Taylor has also continued to stay around football, working as an analyst and commentator for football games.