Steelers CB Ike Taylor Says He Understands The Business Side Of Pay Cuts

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor was asked about the recent release of veteran linebacker James Harrison Tuesday on his weekly radio show, and while he said that he hasn\’t yet talked to his former long-time teammate since his release, he did give his overall opinion on football being a business, as only he can do.

“You\’ve got to understand; we\’re getting older and teams are playing younger guys,” said Taylor. “So sometimes you got to put your pride away. I know I\’m a prideful person, but I understand the business; I understand the game. It\’s going to be a point in time where somebody might ask you for a pay cut, or it might be, \’Hey; this might be your last go around as far as like playing with us.\’

“So I just kind of take that approach. It\’s 16 weeks in a year, so if somebody asks me for a pay cut, and they call it the back nine of your career, as they would say in golf. When somebody asks you for a pay cut, take a look at it and see if it\’s right. See where you\’ve been playing over the last couple of years, and if you think its fair enough, take it. There\’s no way in the world that you\’re going to get whatever amount they\’re about to get you in a 16-week span, especially playing something that you love to do.”

Wow! You have to admire the attitude that Taylor has. Keep in mind; however, he has been through a few contract negotiations himself during his 10 years in the league, with his last being just a few years ago that resulted in him receiving a four-year, $28 million deal that included a $7.25 million signing bonus and a $750,000 first-year roster bonus.

In 2014, Taylor will be 34 years old and due a $7 million base salary. Like Harrison was this offseason, Taylor will be the elephant in the room next offseason, and unless he has a career year that includes him registering five interceptions and making the Pro Bowl, you can bet that the Steelers front office will be coming to him to take a pay cut like they did with Harrison several weeks ago. Will he take it? I bet he does, because Taylor went on to say that he tries to see both sides of the business, and I believe him.

“I try to put myself in the GM\’s, or owner\’s perspective, to try to get a clear picture,” said Taylor. “Because if I didn\’t, If I just kept it in my own perspective as a player, of course you\’re going to be pissed off. So that\’s the approach that I take.”

I wonder if Harrison wishes that he had taken that same approach right about now.

You can listen to the latest episode of the Ike Taylor Show, which can be heard ever Tuesday on Trib Live Radio, below.


  • I think there are quite a few of us that would like to see Ike get chosen as an all-pro (Pro bowl) before he finishes his career. He has been responsible for covering the Best WRs in the league for a long time in that defense…hope he can get some ints this year to help get him over the top. He deserves it.

  • LucasY59

    I think with his comments and seeing that older players dont make much $ in the open market (Harrison, Farrior, Ward didnt receive much interest from other teams) Ike will be willing to take the chance(paycut) to stay with the team and retire as a Steeler

  • I completely agree. Ike is always blamed for everything by naive Steelers fans. He is an excellent cover corner with bad hands.

  • Exactly and up until he cracked an ankle, very durable too. I think he will bounce back nicely from that because the guy Gets It.

  • hergieburbur

    It’s a shame, he’s had 2 or 3 Pro Bowl worthy years, but the INTs just aren’t there.

  • I always use the Tim Tebow playoff game as an example. The guy had to cover Demaryius Thomas all game, one on one with no safety help. Tim Tebow as QB or not, that is a tough assignment. Blame that on him if you want, I point the finger at the coaching staff for not adjusting. I guess sometimes it is easier to throw the obvious one under the bus.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I like his attitude but we will see what he says next year.

  • SteelSpine

    Forgotten is a reason for players to accept paycuts is huge $ bonuses which were already paid upfront.
    – Many players’ signing bonuses paid upfront were even bigger than Wallace’s 7.5. Wallace received 30 mil upfront signing bonus. So if player takes a paycut for last year of the contract, the player still wins overall because no one year was worth 30 mil + salary.
    – Although Ike’s signing bonus was only 7.5 mil, adding his annual salary that year he received maybe 15 mil for playing just the first year played in the contract.

  • Parity is about more than just the order of the draft it also pertains to player worth and proper payment for services rendered. The present system is imbalanced and could bring much harm to the sport if not addressed properly, just look what happened to baseball where the players no longer have team loyalty because they are chasing the money (and without player loyalty you have no fan loyalty and then you handicap your market base- baseball was once a sacred remembrance of our youth, now its money and drugs)– so sad.

  • NW86

    This may not be the smartest thing for Ike to say now – basically putting the organization on notice that he’ll be willing to take a pay cut – but as a Steeler fan you have to love hearing it. This will help the team deal with the cap situation next year while still keeping most of the team together.
    I disagree with Ike being the biggest “elephant in the room” next offseason though – I think that will be Troy, with his $8.25M base salary, and low dead money hit if he’s released. If he has another injury prone year, he’ll be the first guy that the Steelers will need to ask to take a pay cut or be released.

  • steeltown

    Very durable, before last season he played in every game since ’04.. now THAT is a dependable player… and I credit some of that to his workout regiment every year with Shaw in Orlando, I think there is something to that way of training. Look at Farrior and William Gay who also trained with Shaw and are also VERY durable players.

    Its very comforting to know that Cortez Allen is following his footsteps

  • steeltown

    That was a bad game for Ike, but that was also Mundy’s fault for biting on the run, he was supposed to give help over the middle because Ike was playing Thomas on the outside.. it was a combination of things

    I love Ike and his Team attitude and work ethic… one bad game doesnt change my perception, playoffs or not

  • steeltown

    Guess we’ll see if he has the same opinion next offseason

  • steeltown


  • Brendon Glad

    He doesn’t deserve a pay-cut. His contract is right where it should be. He’s had about 2 bad games in two years.

  • Ahmad

    He’s saying the right stuff and I believe him. However, actions speak louder than words so I’ll see what he does next year.

  • LucasY59

    I think Polamalu will chose to retire if he cant stay healthy this season

  • David Edward

    Ike’s cap for 2014 will be $10.45 so he will be in the same position as Harrison next year as will Troy with a $10.9 cap. With Clark in the last year of his contract this year that could mean a complete turnover in the secondary from 12 to 14. If they draft properly at CB and S this year they might have some leverage.