It has long been anticipated that 12th-year veteran cornerback Ike Taylor would in no way, shape, or form play for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2014 under the $7 million base salary due to him this year.
It appears as though that will indeed not be the case, but it won’t be as the result of a contract termination.
Taylor just Tweeted that the ink is about to dry on this “paper”, implying a contract, noting that he is a “LIFER” and “will retire as a ROONEY and a LEBEAU”.
The INK is about to dry on this paper…im a LIFER…#6BURGHfoalldemhatas…will retire as a ROONEY and a LEBEAU…✌️
— Ike Taylor (@Ike_SwagginU) March 10, 2014
It’s not fully clear from the context, but if I were to guess, it sounds much more to me as though this constitutes a contract extension, likely similar to the new deals given to Troy Polamalu and Heath Miller this past week, to provide salary cap relief, rather than a reduction in pay of a few million dollars.
The pay cut was the far more prevalent theory going forward in this offseason, though we have also previously hinted at the possibility of Taylor receiving a Hines Ward-esque ‘retirement package’ before the deals with Polamalu and Miller were struck.
The deal is still very much without context, but it is clear that the Steelers are moving to get their house in order ahead of the start of free agency in less than 24 hours, having also reportedly come to the decision to release veteran outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley tomorrow as a post-June 1 designation.
Update: As Dale Lolley and others have written after this post was published, it appears as though the modification to Taylor contract was indeed a pay cut, with no years added. In other words, he was not extended, even though he has previously spoken of his belief to have a good years left, yet basically Tweeted that he will retire a Steeler after the contract is up.