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Kaboly: Ike Taylor: ‘Hopefully I am back …’

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IkeThe Steelers have a week to get compliant with the NFL’s salary cap, and one of the ways they can accomplish that is with veteran cornerback Ike Taylor.

Taylor is due $7 million in base salary in the final year of a 4-year, $28 million contract he signed in 2011. What has complicated the issue is that the Steelers have restructured Taylor’s contract in each of the past two seasons (including in late October) that has put his cap number near $12 million and his dead money around $5 million.

Taylor, who will be 34 in May, admitted only his weekly TribLive Radio Show Tuesday that he isn’t sure he will be back for his 12th year.

“Hopefully I am back as a Steeler in 2014,” Taylor said. “Time will tell. We will see. When you get around 33-34, they always try to find a reason not to pay you. They always … and it has been going for years.”

The Steelers would prefer for Taylor to agree to a pay reduction, but could resort to releasing the veteran corner even though the Steelers are thin at the position. Cortez Allen and William Gay are the only two corners on the roster with extended experience.

“I don’t know. I am in a situation where you can say my cap is high for a veteran guy but hey, I am still a top veteran guy, I feel,” Taylor said. “You can say my play declined but I am asking where?”

Taylor has been durable over his career missing only four games due to injury. He played in all but 24 snaps last year coming off an ankle injury that caused him to miss the final month of 2012.

However, Taylor’s effectiveness did decline some.

According to Pro Football Focus, Taylor allowed the second most catches in the NFL with 71. He gave up 30 in 2012 albeit in four fewer games.

Taylor, who spent the majority of his career following around the opposition’s top receiver, was also relegated to the one side of the defense over the final months of the season.

Taylor admits that he is loyal to almost a fault but did add: “It only takes ones team is what I really want to say.”

Taylor will likely find out his fate over the next few days.

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Author: Mark Kaboly

Mark Kaboly covers the Pittburgh Steelers for the Tribune-Review. Mark has covered more than 250 NFL football games in all 32 NFL cities as well as three Super Bowls -- XL in Detroit, XLIII in Tampa and XLV in Dallas. A Belle Vernon Area graduate, Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a specialization in journalism from California University of Pennsylvania. Mark lives in Port Vue with his wife, Jennifer, and boys Rocco and Bugsley Pug

 
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