Redskins' Taylor fined four game checks


ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor, who avoided a possible prison sentence by pleading no contest to simple assault and simple battery after an incident stemming from the alleged theft of two of his all-terrain vehicles, was fined a total of four game checks yesterday by the NFL.

While the fine will cost Taylor an estimated $71,764, he was not suspended by the league despite the fact that he initially faced a felony gun charge. Taylor, 23, had faced three counts of aggravated assault and battery, with each count carrying a minimum of three years.

Taylor declined to comment after practice last night at Redskins Park.

"I'm just glad it's behind us," Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said after practice. "I'm glad he's going to be with our team all year. He's had a great camp so far."

It marks the eighth time in Taylor's brief career that he has been fined by the league, including a $17,000 fine last season for spitting in the face of Tampa Bay Buccaneer Michael Pittman during a playoff game. According to the league, Taylor can earn back some of the fined money if he complies with certain requirements, though no specifics of the agreement were announced.

In two seasons since being drafted fifth overall in 2004, Taylor has emerged as one of the league's young defensive stars and one of its hardest hitters, as evidenced by the tackle he made in Saturday's scrimmage against the Ravens that knocked tailback Mike Anderson out of commission with a concussion.

There was some concern that Taylor's career was going to be sidetracked after the ATV incident in Miami in June of 2005. After pleading no contest to the misdemeanor charges, Taylor was required to make speeches at 10 Miami-area high schools and encourage students to stay in school and maintain self-control. He was required to donate $1,000 each time he spoke. The Redskins were relieved that Taylor will not lose any time on the field.

"We need him back there," said defensive end Phillip Daniels. "Anytime you get a safety back there like Sean that everybody is afraid of, then it's a big difference in your defense. When he's not in the game, they try to go downfield on us. When he's in there, teams tend not to go toward the middle where he's at. That's a big blessing. We need everybody this year."

NOTES -- Jim Molinaro, a backup to Chris Samuels at left tackle, might have torn the meniscus in his left knee during last night's practice and was scheduled to undergo a magnetic resonance imaging test. If the meniscus is torn, he will face arthoscropic surgery, according to Bubba Tyer, the team's director of sports medicine. ... Wide receiver David Patten, who spent three days in the hospital last week with viral meningitis, returned to practice last night. ... Cornerback Carlos Rogers continues to sit out because of back spasms.

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