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Lawrence Taylor

The Next Level

The New York Giants drafted Taylor as the second pick overall in the 1981 draft. He signed a six-year, $1.35 million contract with a $250,000 signing bonus. Taylor's entire time on the NFL field might itself be one long highlight. From the very first season, Taylor was more than impressive. He was voted All-Pro that first year, and he started in the Pro Bowl. In a 1981 article in the Boston Globe, Taylor's teammate and cornerback Terry Jackson said, "Lawrence is probably the greatest athlete I've ever been associated with."

He became the standard against which all other linebackers were compared. His intimidation of and subsequent racking up of quarterback sacks prompted the league to institute the "number of sacks" statistic, which prior to Taylor's entrance into the league had not been kept.

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