Although Ike Taylor still has one season remaining on his current contract, the veteran cornerback has been one of the many names discussed when the topic of offseason cuts comes up among fans and pundits. According to a recent tweet by Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider, Taylor seems to have his future mapped out for next season:
Ike Taylor said it's either "here (Pittsburgh) or nowhere" for him next season. I didn't ask if he'd take salary cut.
— James C Wexell (@jimwexell) December 18, 2013
Luckily for Taylor, all signs likely point to him earning $7 million in base salary with Pittsburgh next fall due to the team’s issues with depth and development at the cornerback position.
Like it or not, but the Steelers cannot enter next fall with William Gay and Cortez Allen as their starting cornerbacks and expect to win very many games. Although Allen has displayed the potential to be a solid starter and Gay is a serviceable sub-package guy, neither player necessarily strikes fear into the hearts of opposing signal-callers.
While both Allen and Gay have the necessary experience to start, the lack of experienced depth at the cornerback position in Pittsburgh at the moment is nothing short of appalling.
I have seen nothing from the oft-injured Curtis Brown during his first three years in the league that tells me he can be a capable starting cornerback at the professional level. Moreover, Antwon Blake and Isaiah Green are more special teams players than they are defensive backs at the moment.
Now I understand that Pittsburgh’s brass could address their team’s need for a cornerback through the upcoming draft. I just hope that those who would like to see a rookie play realize that the Steelers have not selected cornerbacks with high round draft choices or playing them early in their respective careers under the Dick LeBeau.
Thus, I can almost guarantee that any rookie cornerback selected by the team will be forced to ride the pine and solely contribute on special teams next fall regardless of where they are drafted.
Even though Taylor is way past his prime from a productivity standpoint, the Steelers will likely be forced to bring him back for the final season of his current deal. I know that it sounds ridiculous to bring back an underachieving and expensive veteran.
Sadly, this organization has no one else to blame for their inability to acquire, develop and keep competent depth at the position.
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