As soon as the Pittsburgh Steelers season ended with another 8-8 finish, many knew changes were coming.
One of the rumored departures was thought to be veteran cornerback Ike Taylor, who instead ended up taking a $4.25 million pay cut in order to return for his 12th NFL season.
While Taylor did so, that doesn’t mean he was happy with it and expressed those feelings in a recent interview.
“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,” Taylor told Jim Rome on Monday. “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.”
“Why me? Like, I didn’t show my loyalty?” Taylor said. “I’ve been a good guy — not saying I’m flawless, I have my flaws, but you want to talk about a standup guy, who takes the blame even when he doesn’t have to. 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.’”
Taylor is coming off a very poor 2013 season, one of his worst in a Steelers uniform when he graded out as one of the worst cornerbacks in the NFL.
He started all 16 games last season and recorded 63 tackles and broke up 12 passes. But his play slipped in a big way and teams had so much success throwing at Taylor that by late in the season the Steelers had stopped moving him around so he could cover the opponents’ No. 1 wide receiver.
At the end of the day Taylor wanted to remain in Pittsburgh and this was the only way.
He’s a veteran and a pro. Hopefully he uses this as motivation to have a bounce-back season in 2014.