Over the last few months, Steelers CB Ike Taylor's uncertainty over his immediate NFL future have made him seem more like a seasoned politician rather than an NFL player. Not long after the conclusion of the season, Taylor stated he would retire if not re-signed by the Steelers, only to suggest he would attempt to sign with another team weeks later.
With only a day until the free agency period opens, Taylor seemed set on his future; and the Pittsburgh Steelers aren't a part of it.
"I think my time is done with the Steelers," said Taylor speaking with WPXI News in Pittsburgh.
Plan B for Steelers in case McCain leaves
The Steelers would likely bring in another veteran cornerback should CB Brice McCain sign elsewhere.
This admission is not surprising, given Taylor's lackluster performance last season coming off a broken arm, and the Steelers aren't likely jumping at the heels to roster a 34-year old cornerback on a unit they appear set to entirely retool.
Taylor, however, has been one of the embodiments of the Pittsburgh Steelers organization and harbors no ill will towards the franchise. In fact, while Taylor isn't retiring per se, he has stated he and his agent would not be reaching out to other teams; instead they would have to "want Ike Taylor."
For the time being, Taylor appears to be the first of the Steelers final four defenders from their duel Super Bowl runs in the later part of the last decade to be officially on his way out the door. James Harrison is a free agent and seems set on playing another NFL season, but the Steelers haven't reached out to him regarding a return while Troy Polamalu and his $6 million cap number could be out the door unless he agrees on a steep pay cut. Brett Keisel, the most likely of the foursome to remain on the team, is signed through the coming season.
Always a class act, Taylor left the Steelers and their fans with kind words:
"There's no other fan base in sports like Pittsburgh, just from what I've seen nationwide. I'm talking about from the black shoes to the yellow shoestrings all the way up to the embroidered Pittsburgh emblem on somebody's hat, that's how deep it is, and the guys you play with makes it even deeper," Taylor said.