With all of the turnover on the Pittsburgh Steelers roster in recent memory, one of the main constants has been cornerback Ike Taylor, who is preparing to enter his 12th NFL season at age 34.
While there were some rumblings during the offseason that the Steelers would elect to release Taylor and save some money, he will be back in his familiar starting spot.
But for how long?
Taylor is entering the final year of his contract and judging by the sharp decline in his play last season, it would make sense that this would be Taylor’s final season in black and gold.
But don’t tell Taylor that as he not only thinks he has a lot of football left in him, but sees him doing it in the only NFL uniform he has ever worn.
Taylor, who didn’t attend OTAs last week but instead chose to stay in Florida and workout, recently told Teresa Varley of Steelers.com:
“I always want to be a Steeler. I don’t want to ever put on another jersey. I want to retire a Pittsburgh Steeler. That is what it boils down. I call myself a Rooney, I call myself a (Dick) LeBeau, and I call myself a Steeler. That is how I feel.”
“Regardless of what my contract says, I am going to stretch it out as much as possible. This is what I like to do. I like OTAs training camp minicamp training camp, I like going through it with the guys, I like going through the process. I am not going anywhere. I am lifer. When it comes to Pittsburgh, I am a lifer.”
In this day and age, it is nice to see when a guy is loyal to an organization.
It’s also good to see the reports that Taylor is hard at work preparing for a bounce-back season.
However, the bottom line is Taylor is going to have to be a ton better than he was last season if the Steelers are even going to think about bringing him back past this season.
Taylor may get his wish and retire a Steeler, however the choice may not be up to him at the end of the day.