Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor chose the glass half full upon signing a modified deal this offseason, agreeing to a $2.75 million one-year deal. Instead of paying attention to the $4.6 million on top of that $2.75 million he was scheduled to make, the Steelers essentially gave him an ultimatum.
Taylor hasn't forgotten.
"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," Taylor told The Jim Rome Show. "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."
Back in March, it was like:
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
That's something of a different message. Perhaps Taylor intended it that way.
He mentioned his reasoning for accepting the offer, basing it more on others who have looked for a similar situation outside of Pittsburgh, but coming up short.
"I had seen a few guys who didn’t take pay cuts and went to other teams and it didn’t work out for them," said Taylor. "So, at the end of the day, I didn’t want to leave Pittsburgh, point blank, period. I’ve got a lot of relationships – I have a lot of friends, I gained a lot of business relationships in Pittsburgh. Just hearing from other guys coming from other teams and being on the team with Pittsburgh, they say it’s like no other; it’s like day and night, so I’ll listen."
Perhaps Taylor is just expressing in his own way his desire to show everyone he is still worth the full amount he was due. The Steelers could use it, they've faced an increase in pass attempts again in each of the last three seasons, and 2014 doesn't show anything that would prevent a decrease in that trend.
Unfortunately, the value of playing for the Steelers still comes at a price. In Taylor's case, it was as simple as play for less or play elsewhere for even less than that. Taylor's $2.75 million contract this season is probably still too high for the level of play he showed over the second half of last season.
Many feel the Steelers didn't reduce his salary enough.