Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor has a streak of nine straight seasons with at least ten passes defended, but that still doesn’t mean he was effective last season when he continued his streak with 12 PDs. Taylor was burned repeatedly, and the Steelers had huge problems with him as their No. 1 cornerback. It was disappointing to see them go without upgrading the position in the offseason, as they’ll rely on the trio of Taylor, Cortez Allen, and William Gay to hold down the fort, unless if someone like fifth-round rookie Shaq Richardson can break through.
Taylor is on his last legs at 34 and probably won’t bounce back from his putrid performance last season, but he’s very upset that he had to take a huge paycut in order to stay with the team he’s been with for his entire 11-year career. Initially scheduled to make $7 million, he will now make $2.75 million next season, but the bottom line is he hasn’t played well enough to justify a higher salary; it’s part of the business.
It’s still an ugly side of the business for players, especially someone as loyal as Taylor. For the first time, he opened up about the paycut on “The Jim Rome Show”, “I’m pissed off about it, still am pissed off about it and I’m going to be pissed off until the end of the season about it. Did it hurt me? Hell yeah. Does it still hurt? Yeah, it hurts, but hopefully I can go in and bounce back this year, do what I need to do on the field and we will see what happens after.”
So why did he stay? Fierce loyalty, because he didn’t want to leave the Steelers and end up with a worse organization where things wouldn’t work out for him. It must have been a tough call, but at least he is locked in as a starter in Pittsburgh and has a chance to prove that 2013 was a blip near the end of his career and that he still has something left in the tank as a starting corner.