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Update: Ike Taylor Accepts $4.25 Million Reduction In Pay On One-Year Contract


After initially Tweeting about a new contract, reports are now slowly flowing in that the new contract for Ike Taylor is a straight pay cut for the 2014 season, not an extension similar to the cap-friendly deals given earlier this offseason to safety Troy Polamalu and tight end Heath Miller.

Attempting to read between the lines of Taylor’s Tweet led me to the conclusion that he was more likely referring to years added rather than a straight pay cut, but as Dale Lolley and others have written, that is not the case.

In his Tweet Taylor wrote that the contract would result in him retiring as a Rooney and as a LeBeau—as in Dan Rooney and the Rooney family, and Dick LeBeau, the team’s defensive coordinator.

 

Given that Taylor has spoken on his radio show and elsewhere of his belief that he still has some more good years left in him, I made the assumption that a contract allowing him to retire would run more than one season.

Taylor even spoke earlier this offseason of having approached the coaching staff voluntarily about the possibility of moving to safety in order to extend his career, such is his desire to continue playing.

With a base salary of $7 million owed to Taylor coming into the day, the Steelers will save exactly the amount that that salary is reduced, both in real money and in cap space, whenever that amount is announced.

The pay cut will likely come in at at least a few million dollars, and he would not be the first veteran to take a similar pay cut to remain with the team. Nose tackle Casey Hampton accepted a $3 million salary reduction in 2012 to play one more season.

James Harrison was not as amenable to a pay cut last season, and the Steelers released him as a result.

Taylor’s love and admiration of the Rooney family and for LeBeau, or “Coach Dad”, is well known, and quite obvious from the Tweet. It is not surprising in the least that he was willing to accept less pay in order to remain with the organization that drafted him.

UpdateEd Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that Taylor’s new one-year contract is worth $2.75 million. Given that his scheduled salary was $7 million, that equates to a pay cut of $4.25 million, which is the amount the Steelers will save in both cap space and real money. Whether true or not, Jason La Canfora writes that Taylor would have been released if he did not accept the proposed reduction amount.

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About Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • Dan

    Great can’t wait to watch him get burnt and drop more int and not defend anything he should’ve been the one cut any free ag would’ve been an upgrade

  • Kevin Gobleck

    Wonder what the numbers will be

  • Matt Manzo

    We are The Steelers. And this is how we do things. Let’s hope he can give us a year of production and go out like a champ!

  • Matthew Marczi

    If they use him more responsibly this year, as they did the end of last season, he should be okay. He’s not useless, he was just overpaid. Big difference.

  • Paddy

    Agree, they don’t have anyone better right now

  • Aric Brown

    I would argue that there really arent that many CBs out there better than Ike Taylor… I know I’m in the severe minority on this, but I think Ike is a top level cornerback

  • Steelers12328882

    Well, you can’t be faulted for incorrectly reading between the lines. I think his tweet sounded like an extension to everyone. I guess he just meant that he’s not being cut like Woodley.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    What do you think his role will be if we sign a CB and/or draft one

  • Matthew Marczi

    If they sign a significant free agent, I expect him to be the #2 corner. A rookie would surely have to wait. Both Cortez And Gay are better in the slot, so Ike would still be outside, and most likely starting.

  • WIINGY

    Stew line open!

  • pittsburghjoe

    Or go out 8-8…

  • Pete Johnson

    PFF ranked him one of the worst out of like 120 CB’s last year. He is pretty much done, but since we let Lewis walk last year we have no choice but to bring him back. It aint 2008 anymore.

  • dkoy85

    I’d really like to see the FA road play out. I think Taylor has some gas in the tank and will perform well as the #2. At least I hope. I was thinking Allen could be the number 2, why do you think he’d be more suited for the slot?

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    There’s a big difference between having Ike cover the opponent’s #1 WR and the opponent’s #3 WR. Or the opponent’s top WR/TE hybrid.

    Ike has lost his speed. But he hasn’t lost his experience/knowledge/technique. I think he can still be effective if matched up against lesser receivers.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I should clarify that I meant Cortez and Gay are better in the slot than Taylor would be, because that’s been their primary role since they were drafted. It’s possible (in this hypothetical) that Allen could start and move to the slot in sub-packages the way Gay moved over for Keenan Lewis in 2011.

  • cp72

    We definitely need to keep Gay in the slot. I still wake up in cold sweats having nightmares about Jordy Nelson abusing him on the outside in the Super Bowl.

  • shawn

    Not anymore

  • shawn

    No way should Ike play outside before Cortez no way … big mistake if they do that, i dont know where they get that Cortez is better in the slot … while he does a decent job there he is a #1/2 CB not a slot guy

  • Shawn Winbush

    he’s not a shut-down cb anymore,but Ike is still an important piece to this defense.

  • shawn

    he’s not more suited in the slot from what i’ve seen … i think its only because the team has used him that way .. he’s a very solid #2 … or will come to be at least a solid #2 !

  • shawn

    more than they should i speculate …

  • shawn

    he’s lost a step but still has plenty of speed … I’m sure u are referring to him having a hard time chasing that QB … but I’m sure he still runs under a 4.5 rather easily

  • Matthew Marczi

    If you have Ike and Cortez and your #2 and #3, and Cortez is better in the slot than Taylor is, you play Cortez in the slot. Common sense.

  • Louis Goetz

    Ike Taylor tells a wonderful story about how Mr. Rooney went to his office one day to get some work done, but when he got there he found Ike sound asleep on the couch. Instead of sending him somewhere else to nap, he got Ike a blanket, turned off the lights, shut the door and let him rest. It’s a really simple story (told so much better by Ike) but shows you the personal relationship that exists between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Ike Taylor. Heading into this off season I was worried that we might loose Kiesel, Miller, Polamalu and/or Woodley. I knew there was ZERO chance we were going to lose Taylor – he means a lot to the Rooney family. I’m really happy we get another year (at least) of Ike Taylor.

  • shawn

    I prefer Cortez on the outside and FA play the other side if they pick one up … not sure where that would leave Ike … but we need playmakers on the field and Cortez is much more a playmaker ! I suppose they won’t get a FA CB and draft one instead and let Ike play one more year and tutor the youngster for the future slot … i think thats what is likely to play out.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I would rather have Hypothetical Free Agent, Ike, and Cortez on the field than Gay.

  • dkoy85

    Ok gotcha. Thank you for clarifying.

  • dkoy85

    I’m sure he’s still got good speed but it seems like he may have lost his burst- seemed to be chasing and not gaining more than a few times last year. I’m happy he’ll retire a Steeler.

  • Jason White

    I absolutely support their decision on this. Too bad Harrison and Woodley allow their egos to make it about money and not face reality about their own recent history. Teams might pay you because you earned it but the money is intended to pay you for what they expect of you. If you can’t perform because of performance or just because you can’t stay healthy then your pay deserves to be re-evaluated.

  • dkoy85

    I agree aboutHarrison- who ironically has a teenie tiny chance to be resigned by the Steelers at the vet min for depth purposes- but we know nothing about the termination of Woodley and what went on behind scenes. He may have never been offered a pay cut so please don’t say hes guilty before we know he is or not.

  • RyanW

    He wont be asked to cover the opponents top recoevr anymore that role will likely goto Cortez and Gay likely on the number 2 depening on what we do in FA and/or draft. Ike will more than likely goto the slot or one of the “lesser” receivers like a 3rd or 4th option receiver.

  • nikki stephens

    thank you Ike for showing the young players and young kids out there that sports players aren’t all about $$$$.
    You have showed love back to the fans who have loved your effort and play throughout your career.
    And I still would rather you play AJ green 2x a yr than anyone else!

  • shawn

    Ya if you had to choose between Ike and Cortez in the slot i agree … but he’s a solid #2 guy and i am pretty high on him so i would be disappointed if he ends up in the slot … id rather have our new draft picks or gay if need be …

    hopefully we get 2 decent CBs in the draft … one for sub packages and a #1 or #2 … i can live with Ike on the outside for another year if like you said they limit his responsibilities !

  • shawn

    i hope he retires sooner rather than later … one more year and call it a day !

  • Jason White

    Wow its a one year deal for $2.75 million saving $4.25 million.

  • cencalsteeler

    Much respect for Ike. A pay cut has to be a humbling experience. Ike will play with more desire this season because of it. Now, it’s Tomlin’s job to get him back to form with his tackling and Ike can be a very serviceable corner this season for the Steelers.

  • cencalsteeler

    If this is true, the Steelers FO are knocking things out of the park this off season!

  • Jason White

    Yep Ed Bouchette tweeted it a short while ago. I wonder if a Timmons restructure is gonna happen.

  • gene mann

    ike is one guy who backed up his talk

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Thank you Nikki-

    Couldn’t have said it any better.

  • cp72

    You know if you’re gonna bring a young guy I think a one year internship from Ike is priceless. You want Dennard, Desir, or any young DB coming in to learn work ethic and nunaces of this defense tell him to go find 24 and stay in his back pocket.

    Now its time to get Woods, Cotch, and Dwyer signed.

  • NW86

    Enough with the Ike hate for one day please. He might not have been able to single-handedly shut down the opposing team’s #1′s this year, but he is still better than most CB’s in the league. He just can’t always be given the toughest assignments in the league.
    But even if you disagree with that, let’s just agree that Ike is a hard working, blue collar, loyal, Steeler for life. He has been saying last year that he would take a pay cut, and he did it – a 60% pay cut at that – and he will once again work as hard or harder than any other Steeler all offseason to do whatever he can to help the team when the season gets here. You gotta respect that.

  • gene mann

    Gay not the best but he much better than given credit for

  • Matthew Marczi

    If it does, you can bet they plan on spending in the next few days, though I’m predicting at this point that they probably won’t touch it. As it stands right now they have about $7 million in spendable cap space.

  • gene mann

    you think they will spend big money on a FA CB?

  • Paddy

    They won’t be signing any mid level FA CBs now, and he will start

  • Matt Manzo

    If we go 8-8 it won’t be because of Ike. He’s at least given us a chance to spend money.

  • Russian Steel

    2.75 mil doesn’t break the bank…obviously we still want an upgrade at starter over Ike, but now he provides insurance and still good enough to contribute covering TEs and 3rd/4th receivers…emergency starter if needed. I guarantee we either draft a starter or get one in free agency…good deal and very happy to see a great guy like Ike return for another year…most of the turds thankfully are gone from the steelers roster. easy to root for steelers with guys like Ike on the team. Again, he will not start unless there is an injury, etc…we’re getting other corners still guaranteed

  • Dan

    Thanks Ike for takin the paycut wat would the steelers do without you way Togo I would like to thank the steelers org for not extending him. I’m shocked they didn’t extend him since Dan r loves him

  • Matthew Marczi

    I think they’re more likely to target a mid-level player. Worth keeping in mind that Shamarko Thomas can man cover in the slot.

  • WilliamSekinger

    The way the Steelers operate, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a high draft pick AND a decent FA at the CB position. The Rookie will learn, while the FA takes over the #1 CB role. Taylor will stick at #2 CB, Gay and Allen as nickel and dime CBs.

  • cencalsteeler

    I bet you didn’t anticipate being this busy while filling in! Your doing an awesome job Matt!

  • dkoy85

    Agreed!

  • dkoy85

    Id bet they still have one or two mid level FAs in mind still.

  • pat

    Sorry but ya are crazy if you think Ike is not starting. He will be the starter either at corner or safety

  • Matthew Marczi

    Haha, thank you, but actually I did. Dave and I have been discussing what we believe is likely to occur during this time period for a while and it’s playing out well within the realm of what we figured. Not surprised at all that today in particular. was a very active day.

  • Matthew Marczi

    That is very much appreciated.

  • Matthew Anderson

    Taylor is and has been an outstanding professional for this team. His work ethic and knowledge are already paying off for Cortez. Glad to have him in the room. I cursed his name many games but he really has been a great pro. Well done Steelers.

  • Steve

    I like how Ike calls Coach LaBeau – Coach Dad, Thats Great HA!

  • Steve

    Seen that interview, told us how the Rooneys teat their employees, like Family!

  • Steve

    Harrison was stipid last year, would have made more money with the Steeler than he made with Cincy. Woodly was all about the money.

  • JAMESH

    Looks like we have the bridge in place. We just need to pick up the destination in the draft.

  • sean mcmartin

    Its a good move for both sides. Ike got rich from the Steelers . The Steelers in return got a great #1 Cb for many years. Now there is some depth and he is no longer the #1 CB and wanted to end his career in the Black and gold. Ike can still be a nickel corner or #2 ..This has been an excellent offseason so far..time to reload and go for the Lombardi..

  • sean mcmartin

    And if the Steelers improve the pass rush up front he won’t be exposed as much..

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Love Ike the story teller. love Ike the workoholic training maniac as it has extended his career. But we also need him to be at least close to his former self.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Absolutely!!! And there might be 1 or 2 more you may have forgotten.

  • Aric Brown

    Ike is far and away the best corner on the Steelers roster and unless they sign Alteraun Verner he will remain the best corner on the steelers roster

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I like the way you said that: “Responsibly.” Now i love the guy and appreciate what he’s done but he needs help almost all the time, they might as well just keep him as a part time coach.

    I was wondering what kind of responsibly do you mean, Matthew?

  • Ernest

    Revis is about to be released, I wonder if they make an offer to him with some of the money that would of gone to ike for 1 yr. He has pittsburgh ties.

  • Witcher

    Is there a chance they give him a shot at safety or does the lack of CB depth pretty much ensure he stays on the outside?

  • CrazyTerry

    I cant think of another team that would have paid him 2.75M. They should have paid him 2.25 MAX. 2.75M is not a major overpayment. but a half a million here, half a millon there, that’s how you max out the cap.

  • alex

    pressure, thats the key for our D…we couldnt get any last year so it exposed our other defensive issues…now we have three NFL CBs signed, but not one of them is a #1, unless Cortez breaks out…

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I say no way at S as he would have to be able to catch a little better than me, and quite frankly Ike can’t catch a cold!
    Also he is not a big hitter. In my eyes, no way in hell at Safety.

  • sean mcmartin

    yes, it was tough to watch the Steeler D not getting pressure. It’s time to bring in some #1 talent..through draft or FA..It has to be done. I hope Joey Porter rubs off on some of the younger talent..teach them how to get the prerssure..They need guys to play hit em in the mouth football once again. The AFC north is wide open for the taking..

  • Shawn Winbush

    I understand how you got the name Crazy Terry now..smh

  • Matthew Marczi

    Just understanding his limitations. He doesn’t belong on a roving island with no safety over the top drive after drive any more. He’s no longer a shutdown cornerback, and he doesn’t have the speed he once had. With that in mind, I expect that they’ll leave him on one side of the defense, not shadowing anybody, and with more safety help over the top.

  • pat

    Doubt it Revis will get 12 mil plus a yr we cant afford that

  • Matthew Marczi

    I personally never bought into the theory of Taylor being able to move over to safety, and I don’t see it happening. I also think he’s definitely more valuable to the team this year at CB than S, assuming he was capable of switching positions seemlessly.

  • Luke Shabro

    I like your terminology there. Curtis was supposed to be that bridge but he turned out to be garbage. Can’t lament the past though. Have to draft someone new.

  • Luke Shabro

    Nikki, your comment reminds me of what Ike said to Mike Wallace when the one trick pony was looking for his giant pay day. He told Wallace basically “You need football more than football needs you. If you leave the game tomorrow, the league will still keep moving.” Ike is wise beyond his years, a great story teller, constant professional, absolute team guy and hilarious to boot. I think we’ve been lucky to have such a guy and I am so excited he will be retiring as a Steeler. I don’t care if he stays around and coaches after, I just want him to stay and be a mentor to the young kids, that alone is worth its weight in gold.

  • Luke Shabro

    I’m honestly not sure what I did before Steelers Depot. I relied on hack national reporters *cough*JamisonHensley*cough*. At least ESPN has Scott Brown covering the Steelers now and he actually seems to know what he’s talking about. I digress. Keep up the great work Matt!

  • Greg Nixon

    Thanks Ike for being a true Steeler, taking the big pay cut (not easy for ego-driven pro athletes), and recognizing the value of retiring a Steeler!

  • dgh57

    Yes possibly starter at CB to start the season but no way at FS. There’s a reason why Ed Reed is headed to the HOF someday and one of them is because he has great hands (64 INTs last I heard in his career). He doesn’t hit like a Safety either. Only work at Safety he’ll see is in the quarters package when 3 Safeties are used.

  • dgh57

    I can think of 31 other teams that would gladly pay him 2.75M!

  • Matt Manzo

    Who do you think will lose their spot first, either to poor play or a rookie taking over, Ike or Cortez? I just assumed there would be a new starter at CB but now I’m not so sure. Ike’s play last year makes me think our top pick is gonna be a CB and that he’ll be expected to play right away. I figure he’s take over for Ike later in the year. But there’s also question marks about Cortez’ ability to dominate? Since we need Ike’s replacement and depth, I think there’s gonna be a lot of competition at CB. Someone might snag a starting spot?

  • Virdin Barzey

    Take it that Woodley was not taking the cut in pay so they released him. Look for that story to be coming out next. Guess this is why they said they might be able to keep both LB but I’m sure Woodley wasn’t too fond of Worrilds taking his spot.

  • cp72

    Yeah I try not ramble in posts. I could talk about the black and gold for hours.

  • WilliamSekinger

    Where did I say he wouldn’t start?? Last I Checked a #2 CB is a starter…

  • steeltown

    Well said

  • steeltown

    Wow.. Thank you Taylor, we needed your help this year both in the numbers crunching room and on the field, thank you for being loyal and Steeler for Life

  • Steeler Wheeler

    Can’t say I ever remember seeing Ike in the slot??? I suppose then saying the others are better is a fair statement, but do we really know ? I’m sure LeBeau knows.

  • Farnsworth

    Hensley is a crow homer. If his name is attached best to just skip it. Steelers depot was my best find last year too. Always great post and comments. Go Steelers!

  • chris ward

    Great to see that Ike will retire with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Looking forward to another year of Ike interviews, always a great listen.

  • Matthew Marczi

    He very rarely does, but he does do it. If they liked him there he would play it more often.

  • CrazyTerry

    Terry Porter had no worse a year the year before with Denver and had to scrounge for a lesser contract with Oakland.

  • CrazyTerry

    Yeah, and you wonder why the Steelres are in cap hell with so few probowlers.

  • MC

    Ike didn’t have a good year. but he had some good games. Best case scenario here is if Allen can step up and play the number one CB and not have Ike follow the best WR around anymore.
    I commend Ike for reducing his pay cause even though a lot of people want him gone, we still need him. Do you expect a CB off the street or from the draft to take his spot in year one? Not happening.
    Draft a cb high this draft and let him learn under Ike and the others before throwing him in the deep end. Ike is still servicable and knows our system.

  • PA2AK

    Exactly, Dan! Why didn’t we cut him and bring in Curtis Brown for the starting gig?!

  • shawn

    Yes !

  • Brendon Glad

    I think I can speak for a lot of us when I say we greatly appreciate players who do that for the Nation. I like Ike and I’m happy he will be back at a price that allows for a little more help to be garnered. Thanks IKE!!

  • shawn

    great point Crazy …. actually Terry Porter is much better than Ike at this point !

  • shawn

    Now this was a GREAT move by both sides … Ike is a lot smarter and in tune with reality than Harrison was … unfortunately they could have done a similar reduction (not quite as much) with Troy if they wanted to … i Know i would have !

  • Brendon Glad

    Yep, even though I like Ike…you have to have ball skills to play safety. And Ike does not have those. His prior success has involved blanket-coverage and physicality at point of reception. Reading, reacting, depth perception, and catching of ball not on the list. In fact, we all can recall times where Ike was in perfect position, and actually WHIFFED on the ball…I’ve stated for years it’s an undetected eye problem, but at this point I’ve given up trying to get someone to check it. He is what he is…I like him at the $ he will now get…liked him at every $ amount he received before last year, and am happy to have him back. But yeah, he is not a safety, unless he has eye surgery.

  • Brendon Glad

    To me, (on your last sentence) Troy did do that. The Bonuses and extensions make it objective rather than subjective…but to me Troy went to 3/20. meaning he and his agent made a conscious choice to accept that Troy is not an 11m/yr cap player anymore. The difference probably lies more in how many years the STEELERS feel they want to retain the player, rather than Ike accepting a one-year pay-cut but Troy only accepting a 1+2 year extension. I know both deals “Felt right” when I saw the terms. Personally, I was thrilled Troy was secured at a more reasonable price for 3 years…and that Ike will be back while we try to find corners. (NOT their strong-suit…in the draft). They may need to pick 4 to find one long-term starter….that’s about the % I’ve come to expect. Whereas WR, much better success rate.

  • shawn

    i like ur earnest eval on the DBs .. they dont do a bang up job but like u said all it means is u draft more of them … i think they are closer to .333 batting avg …. if they draft 4 they are likely to get at least on good one and possibly 2 …

    On Troy … problem i see is … I DONT want Troy for 3 more years …. 2 is plenty … time to get younger … odds of him staying healthy for 3 consecutive years at his age … almost nil !

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