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Panthers’ Minter mulling bid for seat in Congress

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Former Carolina Panthers safety Mike Minter is considering running for Congress.

Minter said Wednesday he’ll decide in the next couple of weeks whether to run as a Republican for the suburban Charlotte 8th District seat held by Democrat Larry Kissell. He defeated incumbent Republican Rep. Robin Hayes in November’s election.

Minter spoke Wednesday minutes after returning from a two-day visit to Washington where he surveyed the political scene. He said he would discuss the issue with his family and pastor before deciding.

Minter is one of the most popular players in Panthers history. A second-round pick out of Nebraska in 1997, Minter became a mainstay in the Panthers’ secondary. He retired in 2007 because of knee trouble.

BACK TO MIAMI: Jason Taylor’s newest step has him back where he started. The dancing linebacker signed a $1.5 million, one-year contract with the Dolphins.

Taylor played his first 11 seasons with Miami before being traded a year ago to the Washington Redskins — a fallout from his stint on the TV show “Dancing With the Stars.” He was released by Washington in March after one injury-plagued season.

The New England Patriots courted the 34-year-old Taylor in recent weeks, but he wanted to return to South Florida, where he still lives.

“My heart has always been in Miami, and so I’m truly excited to call myself a Dolphin once again,” Taylor said in a statement. “I was presented with a number of different opportunities, but in the end the combination of this being the best situation for my family, my love for this community and my tremendous loyalty to a great organization made this an easy decision.”

Taylor made the Pro Bowl six times with Miami and was NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2006.

The Redskins released Taylor after he turned down a chance to play another season with them for $8.5 million. Taylor didn’t like being away from his wife and three children last season and wanted to rejoin the Dolphins regardless of how much money they offered, said his agent, Gary Wichard.

“Jason told me, ‘Tell the Dolphins whatever fits their budget, I’m ready to play,’” Wichard said. “There were no negotiations. It was always going to be Miami.”

Wichard said he also turned down a couple of movie offers because Taylor didn’t want to be away from his family. Taylor has been plotting a Hollywood career since joining the Dolphins as a rookie in 1997, and he envisions himself in the kind of action roles that made Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson a movie star.

“Dancing With the Stars” intensified Taylor’s celebrity last year but soured his relationship with new Dolphins boss Bill Parcells, who fumed that Taylor was in Hollywood rather than spending the offseason working out with teammates. In response, Taylor accused Parcells of giving him the silent treatment.

The soap opera ended last July with Parcells trading Taylor for a pair of draft picks, but the two have since patched up their rift.

BILLS’ BIG DEAL: Fred Jackson never gave up on his pursuit to make it in the NFL, and now the Buffalo Bills running back has the lengthy contract to prove it.

Jackson signed a four-year contract extension as both a reward for his perseverance and his ability to provide the Bills’ run game a valuable one-two punch behind starter Marshawn Lynch.

Though the financial details of the contract were not immediately available, the extension is considered far superior than the one-year $460,000 tender the Bills offered Jackson to retain his rights this offseason.

RAVEN SAYONARA: Baltimore right tackle Willie Anderson is retiring.

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome announced in a one-sentence press release that Anderson had been placed on the reserve-retired list.

The 33-year-old Anderson spent all but two seasons of his 13-year career with the Cincinnati Bengals and was named to four Pro Bowls. He was signed by the Ravens two days before their 2008 opener after being cut by Cincinnati. He ended up starting 11 regular-season games and all three of Baltimore’s playoff games.

Anderson was expected to compete for a starting job in 2009 with the Ravens’ first-round pick, Michael Oher.

COWBOYS STADIUM: The new $1.1 billion Dallas Cowboys stadium doesn’t have an announced sponsor yet — but now it has a name.

Team owner Jerry Jones announced Wednesday that the venue in Arlington will be called Cowboys Stadium.

Country star George Strait will headline the opening event at Cowboys Stadium.

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