There didn't seem much doubt that Jason Taylor would go into the Hall of Fame after his 15-year NFL career ended after the 2011 season, but his induction became more special after he was elected in his first year of eligibility.
And it was on this day three years ago, Feb. 4, 2017, that Taylor was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He would get inducted in Canton, Ohio, that August after being presented by his first NFL coach and the man who drafted him, Jimmy Johnson.
Taylor became the 10th member of the Dolphins organization (excluding those who only had brief stints with Miami) to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The Dolphins are hoping that longtime linebacker Zach Thomas will join Taylor and the other nine Dolphins Hall of Famers when the Class of 2021 is announced Saturday night.
Thomas is among the 15 modern-era finalists and a maximum of five will be elected this year.
Taylor joined the Dolphins as a third-round pick out of Akron in 1997 after Johnson had made another great selection the round before with cornerback Sam Madison, and he went on to become perhaps the greatest defensive player in franchise history.
Taylor made the Pro Bowl six times and was a three-time All-Pro selection while setting the Dolphins career record for defensive touchdowns with nine, six on fumble returns and three on pick-sixes.
Taylor was named the 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and earned Walter Payton Man of the Year honors the following year.
The Dolphins made the playoffs five consecutive years (1997-2001) thanks in large part to a defense led by Taylor and Thomas.
Taylor also holds the distinction of being the only player to return to the Dolphins twice after playing for another team. He played for the Dolphins from 1997 until he was traded to Washington in 2008, return to Miami in 2009, played for the Jets in 2010 after the Dolphins let him leave as a free agent and returned for one final season in 2011.
Taylor's last game was a 19-17 victory against the New York Jets in Miami and after the game his teammates took him for a farewell ride.
A little less than six years later, Taylor had his bust in Canton.