Pay Cut Or Be Cut For Ike Taylor? Gerry Dulac Thinks So

Pittsburgh Steelers veteran cornerback Ike Taylor and the $7 million base salary that he is scheduled to earn in 2014 is a giant elephant in the room this offseason and Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette addressed his situation on Wednesday during his weekly chat session.

According to Dulac, “The best Ike can hope for is to be offered — and for him to accept — a big pay cut.”

Even if Taylor does return at a lower rate in 2014, however, Dulac doesn’t think the Steelers will convert him to safety either because Taylor is “not a good tackler, nor is he that physical.”

While Taylor certainly isn’t worth a $7 million base salary, he does have value to the Steelers being as they simply don’t have depth at the cornerback position. If they were to cut him outright, they would be left with Cortez Allen and William Gay as their starting corners until a draft pick is ready to play.

Taylor isn’t flashy with his hands made of concrete, but he knows the system inside and out, and is willing to play the run. He still has a year or two left in him and there’s no way that he wont be back next season. The two sides will work something out and while it might not be a popular decision, I think there’s still an outside chance he gets an extension instead of an outright pay cut. The Steelers did something similar with veteran wide receiver Hines Ward back in 2009 in order to lower his cap hit.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • CrazyTerry

    Time for the Steelers to move on. Get a veteran DB for the short term the way Denver got Terry Porter 2 years ago. Colbert has been a mediocre GM in the last few years, still living off his accomplishments in the 2000s. Ike cant generate a single turnover.
    If he wants to come back for less than 2M a year, then only it is a risk worth considering.

  • r8erh8er

    Should have cut him last year and signed Lewis instead, but again maybe the cap implications would not have permitted that.

  • Brian Tollini

    I have always been supportive of Ike Taylor, even after Tim Tebow to Demaryius Thomas, and even after his struggles this year against Megatron, Josh Gordon, and others. Ike will be back next year and he should be back next year.

  • Caesar

    I suggested the same thing here last year and got totally shot down!

  • Nolrog

    If he doesn’t accept a pay cut then what? It’s not like they have someone in the wings that can replace him. Right now Ike holds the leverage.

  • greeny

    So did I

  • Nolrog

    It would have been a good idea, very forward thinking. But Lewis wanted to play in NO and got a good contract to do so.

  • dgh57

    We’re already most likely going to have to deal with finding a Ryan Clark replacement so I don’t see a out right cut of Taylor coming just hopefully a pay cut.

  • Nolrog

    You don’t think Shemarko is the guy?

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    Hmmm not a good tackler nor is he that physical to go along with him not being able to catch a cold sounds more 9f a liabilty than an asset which is why i never cared for ike

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Ike has a lil left in the tank but he isnt worth his contract. I totally agree with Dulac here

  • Iron Cadet

    This is why we need to draft a db. Especially a corner early, Not rounds 3 or 4 but 1 or 2. Our secondary is our biggest weakness and it needs to be addressed now

  • dgh57

    I see Thomas more of a replacement for Troy at SS in 2015. If this team feels he can play FS for 2014 I’m all for it. We still need to draft a FS in this years draft though. Plus a CB.

  • Iron Cadet

    Im all for Clinton-Dix in 1. Jordan Matthews in 2, and jean-baptiste, or Desir in the 3rd. That sounds perfect to me

  • JAMESH

    At the end of last season, Cortez was sharing time with Ike against opponents’ number 1 WRs. Perhaps this year, Cortez will progress into the number 1 CB spot and Ike will be an above average number 2 CB. We can get one more year out of him in that role.

  • Louis

    Go ask AJ Green and Josh Gordon if they want Ike Taylor to leave Pittsburgh. Both will scream, yes. While he’s never had Jerry Rice’s hands, he’s always done a more than admirable job of shutting down an opponent’s best receiver. Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown are the future corners, but Ike will still be able to play the nickel without cutting into a younger player’s development. A deal will definitely get done, especially since Ike and Mr. Rooney are so close.

  • Josh Knepshield

    He was one of the worst corners in all of football last year, and according to the article, he can’t tackle, so why bring him back?

  • HopalongCassidy

    Ike isn’t the only guy that needs to take a pay cut. I hope the FO realizes that.

  • Michael Pearce

    All this discussion would have been mute hate Colbert resigned Keenan Lewis last year and let Ike go, seeing that Ike was near the end and Keenan was coming into his prime. I think its Colbert’s worst decision ever as GM, and we will be paying for it for years to come unless we hit the jackpot in the draft.

  • Michael Pearce

    I was pissed when we did’nt resign Lewis. Ike could have been cut and Keenan could have stepped right in and continued on for years to come.

  • Anthony Renzelli

    Man, I was right there with you all the way until the point where you called Curtis Brown a future corner. As bad as everyone in Pittsburgh has bashed Willie Gay (myself included), Curtis Brown is much, much worse. Either Gay will start, they’ll draft a good corner, or find a cheap free agent before Brown starts. Ike should be able to hang on for 1 more year as the #2 CB while they groom the draft pick for 2015.

  • Brian Tollini

    He didn’t have a good year and isn’t worth 7 million a year but if we don’t get him back that leaves William Gay starting. Gay had a solid year last year but he also wasn’t covering the Megatron’s , Brandon Marshall’s, or AJ Green’s of the world. Ike is still a solid CB. As far as the tackling, he might not be a great tackler for a safety but he holds his own at CB, and that is where he will be playing.

  • Michael Pearce

    The contract Lewis got from New Orleans could have been easily matched. Most experts were surprised that he got such a low offer for a top line CB. It was 25 mil over 5 or so years. Colbert just made the decision to let him go thinking that we would be able to do fine without him and Cortez Allen would take his spot and be just as good. Terrible mistake.

  • Brian Tollini

    Yeah, Curtis Brown made the team because of his special teams ability, if I ever see him starting for the Steelers I will pray to god that my PlayStation is on.

  • DrakePirate

    sorry dave, no way possible does he get a pay extension … aint happening … he surely knows the deal and will accept a big pay cut to retire a steeler… it is cut and dry and simple as that !

  • Josh Knepshield

    Cortez was covering #1s down the stretch last season, so Gay will still be #2. I’m just saying, Ike was very horrible last year.

  • gene mann

    I am curious who do the Steelers sign if they Let him go? They need CB and it would be nice if the Illinois Cb would have turned out to be anything Or former third rounder Curtis Brown would not been a bust .We need Ike to take a cut and keep him for another season

  • DrakePirate

    Cortez Allen is WAY better than Lewis … and 5 mil a year was a generous offer for Lewis from his play .. !

  • DrakePirate

    there are many serviceable CBs for 3-4 million a year available in FA !

  • WIINGY

    Extension? Come on man!

    Cut him and sign a younger, better veteran. The cap hit will be smaller.

  • Matt Manzo

    I think our depletion in leadership is what’s keeping Ike in the conversation. If we can squeeze one more year out of him and get him to mentor a top pick, it’s a bonus! And this regime doesn’t seen to be ousting the over 30yr olds as quick as the last. I’m all for a pay cut and him staying as long as he’s capable. Even if we signed Lewis, I don’t want someone on our team that dreams of playing for another. He got to go and play for his home team, the fact that he left money on the table to play for NO should be celebrated, good for him, now let’s go and draft someone even better this year!

  • WIINGY

    I’m sure their is a list of Free Agent Cornerbacks. Ike wouldn’t be in the top ten.

  • DrakePirate

    i would have never overpaid for Lewis … he is ok … borderline good … nothing special, i much prefer to have Cortez and hopefully have a good draft pick of one or two young guys for ike to groom for a year or 2

  • DrakePirate

    i am sure they do … but will they follow thru … lets see !

  • dgh57

    Those are good names but I also wouldn’t complain if we got Calvin Pryor. We have a chance of getting one of the top CB and one of the top S in this draft if all the chips fall just right.

  • Callentown

    I don think we’ve seen Cortez show that he can play the 1 spot. This past year, Gay was the better of the two over a full season and that was at the 2.

  • WIINGY

    Y’all want to go 8-8 again! This is silly talk. Just one more year, blah, blah, blah.

  • DrakePirate

    much agreed, but not hopeful of brown .. has the talent but doesn’t seem able to turn it into anything

  • AndyR34

    Based upon his play last year, Thomas is not nearly ready to be a starter…especially at FS. He never saw the field again after W. Allen came back. He may be ready to fill in for Troy in a couple of years, but he’s not ready now.

  • Callentown

    Or have Troy play FS and Sharko at SS. However you get the best players on the field.

  • WIINGY

    Allen was playing injured. He’s light speed better than Gay. You are high. He’s also better than Ike Taylor right now.

  • WIINGY

    Dick schemed the #1 out of games. We all seen what Ike Taylor can do on an island. D. Thomas

  • WIINGY

    Sign a free agent? They are allowed.

  • WIINGY

    Troy can probably play FS better than Clark. He’s got more instincts and speed. Just move Troy over.

  • WIINGY

    he was injured. He can play SS in this defense. Quit panicking. We don’t need a 33 year old veteran for every position.

  • mem359

    You are assuming that Lewis would stay in Pittsburgh for the same contract money.

    I’ve always assumed that Lewis gave the “home town discount” to NO, and that the Steelers would have had to pay significantly more to get him to change his mind.

  • WIINGY

    Yeah they are so scared of Ike. LOL
    Put Ike on island against them, he’ll get burned.

  • WIINGY

    But you would overpay Ike Taylor?? Ike’s cap number this year is 12 million. Keenan’s is 4.5 million.

    Colbert GM of the year.

  • Callentown

    Up until midway thru last year, the answer would have been ‘no'; I agree. But the second half of the season saw Ike fall off the cb cliff. And Gordon’s 200+ yd day was just one big day that he have up.

    It will be interesting to see how the lineup is after the preseason. I agree Ike will be in the mix. I also believe they draft at least 2 DBs

  • WIINGY

    Yeah, Keenan Lewis was a free agent last year.

    First year cap hit $2.25 million
    Second year cap hit $4.5 million

    Ikes cap hit this year 12 million

    get it?

  • Matt Manzo

    It’s plain and simple. If Ike’s gone we have nothing. We have to get 1 more year out of him just for depths sake.

  • WIINGY

    they can sign a younger and better Free Agent for a smaller cap hit than Ike.

  • Aric Brown

    I’ve always thought Ike Taylor was one of the best tackling corners in the league

  • Matt Manzo

    I’m shocked at how quickly most of you are to bash Ike, you sound like a bunch of niners fans. Ike’s been the most underrated CB for a decade. And he’s a leader!

  • Callentown

    No need to get testy Wingy. I’m not sure what you saw that I did not but I didn’t see Cortez look special last year and Gay made some big plays throughout the year. Certainly similar play.

  • DrakePirate

    where did u get that … i would want a huge cut for Ike … max 3 mil a year .. prefer 5 for 2 yrs retire a steeler !

  • Aric Brown

    Ike would easily be in the top 10 free agent corners… Ike has his bad moments but is known by most people that really watch football as a true #1 corner. He matches up the other teams #1 almost always with no help and shuts them down more times than not… ask AJ Green if Ike Taylor is a top level cornerback

  • Aric Brown

    Thank you…. some of these comments on here are downright delirious

  • WIINGY

    He always gets help. If not he gives a 10 yard cushion. He’s never been a true #1 corner. We’ve seen what an island can do to Ike. Tim Tebow to D. Thomas.

  • Callentown

    I think it’s fair to consider that with a reduced salary, Ike is worth having vs a CB from another team. Ike knows the LeBeau system. Anyone new will make far more mistakes at the 2 or 3.

  • WIINGY

    His cap number is $11.9 million.

    If they cut him they save $7 million

    The sad thing is there will be over 4 million in dead money because the dopes in the front office restructured his contract. Ike taking the Rooneys to the bank!

  • dgh57

    We really need to stop moving guys around. Just draft a FS(Clinton-Dix or Calvin Pryor) and let Thomas continue learning(after all he didn’t play much in 2013)and in 2015 he’s our guy at SS

  • Callentown

    Wow man.. Did Keenan steal your dog or something?

    Personally, I thought he was the best corner on our team at the end of 2012. If we had kept him, this situation wouldn’t be so messed up at the #1. And Lewis and Cortez would be a strong pair together.

    Check Lewis’ stats. He had a great year for N.O.

  • WIINGY

    What like playing Troy at linebacker in the nickel? lol

    God forbid he switches safety positions!

  • DrakePirate

    i am agreeing with u … i never said we should overpay for Ike !

  • Brian Tollini

    Other than having the worst set of hands I’ve ever seen I think he was a true #1 CB for many, many years for us. He consistently shutdown top talent but when he did give up the occasional TD people would bash him to no end. I’ve never understood this.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    I really dont understand why fans have all this love for ike he stays in good shape with little to no injuries i applaud him for that but ike NEVER was a top tier corner and never would be he not even the best on the steelers at his position gay played better allen played better after a few games after injury and keenan lewis played better for the saints

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    Theres a reason for that ike is a bum always have been always will be and the sad part about it is he actually got better with age instead getting beat every third down he only give up about five a gm smh

  • WilliamSekinger

    ::Facepalm:: For the last time he didn’t want to play in Pittsburgh, he wanted to go home. He would have cost a fortune…

  • WilliamSekinger

    ^^This!

  • dgh57

    Troy playing LB was out of necessity due to injury to Foote.

    A FS stills needs to be drafted regardless if Troy moves to FS or not as 2014 will most likely be it for Troy.

  • 243546

    Lewis also wanted to play in Pittburgh. Teams don’t have to wait until the start of free agency to negotiate with their own free agents. The team could have locked Lewis up before his agent ever knew that NO was a possibility.

  • 243546

    Allen didn’t look better than Lewis this year

  • 243546

    He didn’t want to stay in Pittsburgh? That’s not what he told Ed Bouchette in last January.

    “Lewis left his exit interview with coach Mike Tomlin on New Year’s Day feeling good about the team’s desire to sign him to a new contract.

    “I’m hoping they do something so I can get back,” said Lewis, who led the NFL in passes defensed. “They said they wanted me to come back.”

  • Iron Cadet

    You would take Pryor in the 1st?

  • Matt Manzo

    That and grab a 1st or 2nd rnd CB. I don’t wanna start this year off with an empty cupboard at DB. Not after the progress we made the second half of the season! I even think we need to walk away from this draft with 2 CBs and a Safety!…. In the first 5 rounds!

  • WIINGY

    What the Steelers should do this year….

    no restructuring…..

    Extend Ben, lower his cap hit
    Extend Allen – do a deal somewhat less than what Keenan got last year.

    Cut Ike – save $7 million
    Cut Heath – save $6 million
    Cut Troy – save $8 million
    Cut Levi Brown- save $6.25 million

    Woodley June 1 cut – save $8 million

    That clears $35 million not including Bens extension.

    Trade Pouncy if they can. Save another $4 million and get a draft pick (I’d take a 3rd)

    All bloated contracts gone.
    Plenty of draft picks.
    Plenty of room to sign some Free Agents.

    Yeah, it hurts.

    but it’s time to move on. Sooner rather than later.

  • WIINGY

    I’d be on board with a CB in round 1 or 2.

  • r8erh8er

    Spot on……the team claims they let him “test” free agency so they wouldn’t overpay. Which is basically saying don’t let the door hit you on the way out! We’ll find out real soon if they feel the same way about Worilds.

  • Anthony Renzelli

    I agree that we should draft a CB early, but I also can’t stand that rookies “just don’t start for the steelers defense”. Everyone always says it’s because the defense is so complex. Maybe we should simplify it because it hasn’t seemed complex to a lot of average QBs the last 2-3 seasons, let alone the elite ones that have torn it up.

  • Aric Brown

    Which free agents are you targeting?

  • Jollyrob68

    cut Ike’s pay to 3 million

  • Jollyrob68

    He could get an extension. Add on another year and pay him 3 million per year. that’s his value.

  • Jollyrob68

    Lewis didn’t want to play here. He went home. That point is a dead issue.

  • dgh57

    No, but if we miss out on Clinton-Dix and have to settle for Pryor in the 2nd rd. I’m not going to complain about it. Just so long as we get one of the 2 top FS.

  • Josh Knepshield

    Yeah he sure did. Calvin dominated, Josh Gordon destroyed us, and the Bears receivers did nothing all game (sarcasm).

  • Iron Cadet

    I doubt that Pryor will be there in the 2nd. I also think that cb is a bigger need. If Pryor was there in the second and we took justin Gilbert in the first then we have our Dbs for the future. I honestly believe we can wait on wr. I want to see what Vince williams can do this year at ilb, and our only other major need is on the dline.

  • DrakePirate

    true he didnt play outstanding, but i think that was due to his slow start and injury … I’m looking for a breakout year next year … hope we get him signed long term before he gets too expensive !

  • DrakePirate

    im all for that … and he will take it … steelers have all the leverage … i would prefer 5mil for 2 years with some incentives if he plays above that value !

  • grw1960

    I would if I could trade down to 19-20. He is a better tackler than Dix and he can catch , best of both worlds If he falls to our 2nd pick , so much the better. We will just have to wait till we see how things shake out after the combine.

  • joed32

    He hadn’t shown anything up until his final year, they had no intention of re-signing him until he blossomed in his contract year. How were they to know he wouldn’t revert to the bad Lewis once he got his money. When he finally showed that he could be an NFL corner he was determined to leave and the Steelers thought they had a good replacement in Allen and Ike was still playing like he was in his prime. Allen got hurt and Ike had a bad year. Hindsight is always 20-20.

  • Brian Tollini

    Sounds like you basically want to pull a Daniel Snyder and build a team through free agency. Tough to be successful at that. Destroys team chemistry and pisses fans off.

  • NW86

    They still need Ike – the problem with cutting him wouldn’t be starting Cortez and Gay, the problem would be who are your 3rd, 4th, and 5th CB’s??
    I see it as a combination extension/paycut. For example, cut his base from $7M to $2M, but give him back $3M in signing bonus for a 2-year extension. This would mean a $2M paycut in cash, but a $4M reduction in his cap hit.

  • dkoy85

    It’s amazing how you manage to turn an entire paragraph into one sentence. I applaud YOU for that [sarcasm]. You do begin each paragrentance (yep I made up that word and I have you to thank) with a capital letter though. What do you have against Ike? Steal your girl? If you talk the way you write I don’t think Ike is to blame for losing your girl. Just shut up already and go back to school.

  • r8erh8er

    Worilds performed in a contract year….don’t you think he should be resigned? Even if it takes 4 years to develop you can’t keep letting your young talent walk out the door or else you end up with the oldest defense in the league….oh right.

  • treeher

    You are exactly right

  • treeher

    What do you expect him to say? He’s looking to negotiate a deal. At that point, NO was not on the table and his situation hadn’t crystallized. Later on he made it clear that he wanted to return home and play for the Saints.

  • treeher

    Just what article says … depth and he knows the system inside out.

  • treeher

    He will be a starter in 2014.

  • bonairsfavoriteson

    If ya think the defense was bad last year, bring back the old guys and we will have a top 5 pick in the 2015 draft.

  • joed32

    Jason had 5 sacks the year before with limited playing time which was one more than Woodley who actually had more playing time.

  • cencalsteeler

    The Steelers drafted Hawthorne last year anticipating him to succeed Taylor. Well, that didn’t work, so Taylor benefits. I agree with the article. I don’t see a move to safety either as Dulac states, Taylor can’t tackle. If Hawthorne worked out, Taylor probably would’ve been out of a starting job come 14. Now, the Steelers are strapped in the secondary and are facing this dilemma. My thoughts are they go back to the drawing board in the draft to replace Taylor, but Taylor gets one more year as the starter with a reduced salary.

  • steellife007

    DO NOT EXTEND HIM….we can’t keep doing this! I like Ike and think he is capable of having a bounce back season but for 7 million I would rather cut him outright (if he is not willing to take a pay cut) than continue to tie up money in future yrs.
    If he takes a pay cut great….come on back! Even if he takes a decent pay cut and add on one more yr at a good rate great but beyond that I would disagree. Burn an early draft pick on a corner; bring in a effective vet at a much lesser cost, but don’t continue to put this team through salary problems unless the player is really worth it and in his mid 30’s that’s not Ike. Besides, in order for our D to make an impact again the front 7 needs to pressure the QB the way they did in the past with or without Ike.

  • dgh57

    Last I heard there were 98 underclassmen declaring for this draft. I see that as a positive in that it may end up pushing good players down to us. So anything can happen in this draft.

  • SteelerFanInMD

    Ike has been one of my favorite Steelers over the years. He has a great work ethic and always plays with maximum effort. I hope they can find a way to keep him, maybe as the nickel cornerback or safety.

  • AndyR34

    He who??? And for what team? And how do you “know” this?

  • treeher

    Clarification: “He” is Thomas. Will replace Ryan Clark (who will be gone) and join Troy back there. W Allen will see a lot of snaps, but team needs to get younger and faster and Thomas fits the bill.

  • CrazyTerry

    That is still too much to pay Ike. He won’t make more than 2M total in the free agency market. He looked more finished than Harrison looked last year.

  • CrazyTerry

    Heath can’t block that great anymore. But Haley uses his as a receiver a lot more. And you gotta give him a year for his injury. You saw the difference in the offense when he came back. Cutting heath is simply not an option. There are many other overpaid players who should stand ahead in the line.

  • CrazyTerry

    I used to support Ike. But unless the opposing OC is an idiot, here is what you do to the Steelers D: Throw agtainst Ike on 1st and 2nd down. What’s the worst that can happen? Incomplete?

  • CrazyTerry

    Harrison was more indispensable than Ike. The dropoff from Ike to Cortez is less than the dropoff from Harrison to Jarvis.

  • CrazyTerry

    He could get by with bad hands when he was a shutdown corner. He is no longer a shutdown corner and his lack of good hands makes him a mediocre corner.

  • CrazyTerry

    Not true. You don’t know that. he did prefer NO. But he also said he was open to returning, but the steelers ignored him. Guess what, it was too late by the time Saints gave him an offer.

  • Luke Shabro

    Bashing on William Gay is one of Steeler Nation’s favorite pastimes but Gay actually had a really good year. I don’t want him to necessarily be a full time starter next year but that kid earned every cent of his salary

  • Luke Shabro

    There are going to be a pretty good amount of first round talents still available in the second round because of all the underclassmen this year.