For those who feel it's a 100 percent certainty pending free-agent cornerback Ike Taylor will return to the Pittsburgh Steelers, think again. Earlier this week on ESPN's "Jim Rome is Burning," Taylor discussed his status and willingness to test the open market.
Solid starting cornerbacks are getting contracts worth approximately $10 million per season, which is a number the Steelers likely aren't willing to touch for Taylor, who just turned 31 this month. But another team might, and that could put Taylor in position to accept the best financial offer or take a "hometown discount" to remain in Pittsburgh.
"Man, I need that market value," Taylor explained. "I work so hard. I've been through so much. I feel so underappreciated, feel so underrated at my position. I feel like it's time to get my worth [in] whatever city that's in."
Based on Taylor's comments, it doesn't appear he's keen on the idea of taking less money to stay with the Steelers -- especially if it's significantly less. Taylor already has two Super Bowl rings, and he knows this is probably the final big-money contract of his career.
Pittsburgh needs to have a contingency plan ready in the event Taylor doesn't return. The Steelers drafted cornerbacks Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen in the third and fourth rounds, respectively, and it could be asking a lot for either rookie to start right away for the reigning AFC champions.