Sean Michael Maurice Taylor (April 1, 1983 – November 27, 2007) was an American college and professional football player who was a free safety for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL) for four seasons. He played college football for the University of Miami, was a member of the Hurricanes‘ 2001 BCS National Championship team, and earned unanimous All-American honors. The Washington Redskins chose Taylor with the fifth overall pick of the 2004 NFL Draft. Due to his ferocious hits, several of his Redskins teammates nicknamed him “Meast,” a portmanteau word from the expression “half man, half beast.”
Taylor died at the age of 24 on November 27, 2007, from critical injuries from gunshots by intruders at his Miami area home. His death led to an outpouring of national support and sympathy, especially in the Washington area, where Taylor had been a fan favorite as a Redskin,[and the Miami area, where Taylor had starred for the Miami Hurricanes, after leading Gulliver Prep to a Florida state high school championship and setting a state record for most touchdowns in a season (44).
In honor of Taylor, on the first play of the first game after he was murdered, the Redskins defense lined up with only 10 players which left the area Taylor lined up at free safety open against the Buffalo Bills.