Ike Taylor understands what it means to be on a professional sports team. He understands the sacrifice necessary to thrive in a successful organization. He just doesn’t understand why the Pittsburgh Steelers had to approach him of all people when it came time to save some salary cap money.
“I’m (ticked) off about it,” Taylor said Monday on the Jim Rome Show, per ESPN. Taylor referred to the $4.5 million pay cut he accepted this past offseason, which reduced his 2014 salary from $7M to $2.5M.
“It’s like you get to a point: ‘Why me?’ Like, I didn’t show my loyalty? 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. I’m like, ‘Damn, out of all these people, you want to ask Ike?”
Taylor probably shouldn’t take it too personally, the Steelers do this to everyone. The team spends to the cap nearly every year, but they also refuse to overpay individuals and the team often sees a high turnover of veterans who are unwilling to take pay cuts. Just look at their receiving corps for evidence of that trend, Mike Wallace left town last year and Emmanuel Sanders fled for Denver this past offseason. Both received larger contracts than they would have from Pittsburgh.
Ultimately, it was Ike Taylor’s love for Pittsburgh that kept him in town though. “By the end of the day I didn’t want to leave Pittsburgh,” Taylor said.
For at least another year, Taylor will stay in Pittsburgh. How this year’s pay cut will affect next year’s contract negotiations will be a different matter altogether.