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.