Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor agreed to reduce his 2014 salary from $7 million to $2.75 million back in March. The veteran made the move to help his team, but he is still steaming about it three months later. During an interview with Jim Rome on Monday, Taylor made it clear he is angry with the Steelers.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Taylor is 34 and entering the final year of his contract. Even if he performs at a relatively high level, there is no way the Steelers are going to give him much more than a short-term deal at somewhere in the vicinity of the same $2.75 million per season that he has been reduced to for 2014.
If Taylor is so angry about taking less money, why did he agree to it?
“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,” he explained. “So, at the end of the day, I didn’t want to leave Pittsburgh, point blank, period. 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.”
Taylor has spent all 11 seasons of his career with the Steelers and been an important part of their secondary for most of them. He probably wasn’t going to make $7 million on the open market if Pittsburgh released him, so he didn’t have as much leverage as you might think. Still, he feels he should be rewarded for what he has done for the franchise.
“It’s like you get to a point, why me? Like, I didn’t show my loyalty? I’ve been a good guy,” Taylor added. “You want to talk about a guy who’s going to come in in-shape, not waiting to build up into shape when he gets to camp. Or you want to talk about a guy who’s unselfish and puts his team before his family and friends, you want to talk about a guy who has loyalty, yeah it’s me. It’s me you’re talking about. When you come to me and ask me for a pay cut, I’m like ‘Damn, out of all these people, you want to ask Ike.’”
There’s that cruel business again.
H/T Eye on Football