Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor is scheduled to earn a base salary of $7 million in 2014, the final year of his contract, and it’s been evident for some time now that that number isn’t likely to work. Taylor was asked about his contract situation during a Thursday interview with Laura Okmin of Fox Sports on radio row at the Super Bowl in New York and the 33 year-old didn’t shy away from the question.
“It’s just a situation you got to understand that it’s a business,” said Taylor. “Age comes into factor, salaries come into factor. You got to understand as a player, it will always be a young man’s sport and I understand that. So we’ll see the logistics. My agent and the team will sit down and talk – they’ll let me know what’s going on.”
There has been a little bit of talk since the 2013 season that Taylor could possibly make a move to free safety and while he indicated on Thursday that the team hasn’t formally asked him to make such a move, he said he’s willing to do it if it means him being able to extend his career. He also said that he’s talked to defensive backs coach Carnell Lake and former Steelers defensive back Rod Woodson, both of whom made similar position moves during their careers, about the difference between playing cornerback and free safety.
“From talking to them, angles,” started Taylor. “And you got to understand, safety is exactly what a safety is. You’re the last line of defense. It could look ugly when you try to make tackles, but you’ve got to understand, you’ve got to give your guys up front another chance to make a play.
“So safety comes with that territory. The name, safety, you’re the last line of defense. Or breaking down angles, you see the whole field. Instead of one side of the field, you see the whole field now. Just talking to Coach [Carnell] Lake and Rod [Woodson], understanding what they went through and the transitions that they made, yeah, I understand, but I would have to go through it to actually see.”
Taylor has of course spent his entire career in Pittsburgh and has said several times in the past that he wants to end it with the Steelers. He reiterated that again on Thursday.
“Hopefully I will be a part of the team,” he said. I would love to retire as a Steeler, but you just never know. So time will tell.”
As far as that time telling, we should know over the course of the next six or seven weeks the outcome of Taylor’s situation. I fully expect that he’ll be back in 2014, although it’s likely to be at a very reduced rate. In addition, I doubt a move to safety is in his immediate future, but like he said, you never know.
You can watch the entire interview below.