When a player takes less money in order to stay with his current team, that’s often referred to as the “hometown discount.”
The best and most recent example I can think of right off the top of my head is a few years ago when Jon Runyan’s contract with the Eagles was up and he took significantly less money from the Eagles to stay in Philly when he could have accepted an offer from the New York Jets that would have made him one of the best-paid linemen in the league.
But apparently, and unfortunately for the Pittsburgh Steelers, cornerback Ike Taylor isn’t on the same thought process as Runyan.
“I need that market value. I work so hard,” Taylor told Jim Rome Wednesday on Jim Rome is Burning. “I’ve been through so much, I feel so unappreciated, feel so underrated at my position, I feel like it’s my time to get my worth, in whatever city that’s in.”
I’m not exactly sure what exactly Taylor is talking about as far as being unappreciated, but it sounds like he could be overvaluing himself and might run into trouble once free agency kicks off.
Taylor is a good tackler and obviously a tough guy as he’s missed only three games during his nine-year career — all three coming during his second season in the league — but he doesn’t put up the numbers that the highest-paid cornerbacks in the league put up.
Taylor has had at least 10 and as many as 20 passes defended since becoming a full-time starter in 2005, but has only 11 interceptions in his nine-year career and has never had more than three in a single season. A guy like Nnamdi Asomugha has proven that interceptions are not everything, but teams aren’t avoiding Taylor’s half of the field like they do with Asomugha, so it’s more about the lack of big-play ability than it is a lack of opportunities.
In Asomugha’s second full season as a starter, he racked up eight interceptions, 19 passes defended, one touchdown, one forced fumble, and 48 tackles. In the four years since then, Asomugha has only four interceptions and no more than nine passes defended, but that’s also with teams throwing to his side less than 20 times per year.
This wasn’t mean to turn into a party for Asomugha, just a way of nipping that argument in the bud.
Taylor is a good cornerback, but if he thinks he’s worth $10 million per season he’s just this side of crazy. Something tells me he’s going to demand far too much in free agency, wind up sitting by the phone, and in the end realize he’s not taking a “hometown discount” to stay with the Steelers, but instead find he’s worth more to the Steelers than anyone else.