Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ike Taylor to Sign Four-Year Deal to Stay With Steelers

I have talked many times about how important Ike Taylor is to resign and how he is my favorite Steelers players and tonight I got the news I wanted to hear.

Taylor agrees in principle to a four year deal that will keep him in Pittsburgh until the 2014 season according to multiple league sources. There are no terms to the agreement, mostly because the Steelers have to wait until 6:00 p.m. on Friday to sign any free agents. If all indications are true from the league and television sources most everyone has seen then Ike will be back in the Black and Gold.

This was a really big sign for the Steelers considering that the only corner that they have under contract is Bryant McFadden and if they didn’t resign Taylor they were really going to have to do some work on the free agent market to get a deal done with a capable cornerback or two. It had been loosely reported that the Steelers felt good that they could get Taylor to resign but some indications from Taylor were that he was going to see what was out there. In the end he decided to come back.

In terms of coming back there would have been a ton of suitors if he wanted to test the market. The Philadelphia Eagles were among the teams that showed a lot of interest and they had some money to spend. Although we haven’t seen the money aspect of the deal you have to figure that Taylor left some money on the table to stay with the Steelers. The last time Taylor got a deal from the Steelers he took a hometown discount and while I think he is going to be paid well you have to wonder if he did something of the sort by not going out on the market and really cashing in. Ike has said many times he loves Pittsburgh and playing for coach Lebeau and I think we saw some of the decision he made.

While Taylor might not have the best hands he is one of the best in the league at his job. He only has 11 career interceptions in 125 games but in my opinion the job of a cornerback is to prevent the receivers from catching the football and Taylor excels at that. Taylor has only gotten better over the past couple of years and has made it a habit of shutting down the other team’s top receiver and rendering them obsolete. Chad Johnson/Ochocinco and Derek Mason/whoever the hell the Ravens call their #1 frequently get shut down by Taylor to the point that teams just don’t throw his way. Taylor is also ideal for the Steelers system in that he is a big physical corner that is an excellent tackler. To play in the Steelers system you have to be a good tackler and be physical and that is exactly what Taylor is.

Very solid sign for the Steelers. Should be fun to see what else the Steelers have up their sleeves to get under the cap while still trying to improve the team.

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