ESPN doesn't rebuild its NFL analysts ranks, they reload. It seems like every offseason, ESPN adds what could be an entire network's worth of talent to their NFL analyst ranks. The next free agent signing by the leader is former Dolphins DE Jason Taylor. ESPN missed out on Hines Ward, who signed with NBC, and Taylor was likely the next name to come off the future analyst draft board. Jason Taylor has never been one to shy away from the cameras and a media move was always likely with his spot studio work and a Dancing With The Stars run in his recent past. Here's the confirmation from ESPN...
Former NFL Defensive Player of the Year and six-time Pro Bowler Jason Taylor is joining ESPN as a NFL studio analyst. The standout defensive end/linebacker will appear on NFL Live, NFL32 and SportsCenter, in addition to contributing to Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown. Scheduled to start later this offseason, Taylor will also make regular appearances on ESPN Radio.
Sticking the former Pro Bowler on the two Countdown shows is a major sign that ESPN will be investing quality air time in Jason Taylor and not sticking him in Saturday afternoon windows on ESPNEWS. However, Taylor faces a challenge Hines Ward doesn't face at NBC because he will have to work much harder to stand out amongst the dozens of NFL analysts at the leader. One friendly suggestion for Bristol that may help Taylor stand out from the crowd? A debate series with Bill Parcells. It was just last year when Taylor said about the Dolphins, "I'm over it. Bill Parcells is gone, so I have no problems." Hopefully the cameras are rolling for their first meeting in the ESPN cafeteria.