Steelers’ Taylor ‘hurt’ by pay cut
Ike Taylor has apparently had a change of heart.
Four weeks ago, the veteran cornerback told reporters that “my salary is a lot of money” when addressing for the first time his decision to agree to a 60 percent pay cut in March to stay with the Steelers.
While appearing on “The Jim Rome Show,” on Monday, Taylor didn’t mince words about how he felt about being asked to reduce his salary from $7 million to $2.75 million for the 2014 season.
“I’m (ticked) off about it, still am (ticked) off about it and I’m going to be (ticked) off until the end of the season about it,” Taylor 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.”
It was the first time Taylor, who also has a weekly show on TribLive Radio, publicly admitted that he wasn’t happy that the Steelers asked him to take a pay cut.
However, Taylor did uncharacteristically miss two of the three-week voluntary organized team activities last month, totaling six sessions. Taylor attended mandatory minicamp two weeks ago. He never clarified why he missed the voluntary practices.
“It’s like you get to a point: ‘Why me?’ Like, I didn’t show my loyalty?” Taylor said about being asked to take a pay cut. “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. 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?’ ”
Taylor has been durable over his career, missing only four games because of injury. He played in all but 24 snaps last year coming off an ankle injury that forced him to miss the final month of 2012.
However, Taylor’s effectiveness declined somewhat last year. According to Pro Football Focus, Taylor allowed the second-most catches in the NFL with 71.
Taylor, who spent the majority of his career shadowing the opposition’s top receiver, was also relegated to one side of the defense over the final months of the season and played well. Taylor said he was playing through injuries for part of 2013.
Taylor is penciled in behind Cortez Allen and William Gay in the Steelers’ cornerback rotation. His relationship with owner Dan Rooney also persuaded him to agree to the pay reduction, he said.