The NFL Labor dispute is far from over, but if the pre-season opener occurs as expected on August 18th against the cross-state Eagles, things could be interesting.
Multiple sources have indicated that the Eagles have a strong interest in free-agent cornerback Ike Taylor, and while Taylor has said Pittsburgh is home, he has also indicated he has a strong interest in looking at the free-agent market.
Says Adam Caplan of Fox-sports:
“The Eagles will show strong interest in Taylor once free agency starts. And with the Eagles possibly playing more zone and less man coverage in the secondary this season based on the adjustment the defensive line is expected to undergo, Taylor would fit in quite well.”
Although two sources have told Examiner that Arizona is not in the Taylor picture, former West Virginia standout Ron Wolfley, who is also the brother of Steelers sideline reporter Craig Wofley made some interesting comments on his radio show this past week, all of which make plenty of sense.
“Let’s say they (Arizona) deal (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie) and bring in Kevin Kolb as their quarterback,” Sports 620 KTAR’s Ron Wolfley said on Doug and Wolf. “Does Ike Taylor make sense at the corner opposite of Patrick Peterson? I can tell you it makes perfect sense for so many different reasons. Number one, we’re talking about a grizzled veteran. A guy who is a true players pro. He’s a professional. A guy that would mentor a young Patrick Peterson. A guy that has been in the league nine years and he’s been durable as well. He’s missed three games in nine years.
This is a guy who would be a perfect fit because he already knows Ray Horton’s defense. He’d have to be brought up to speed on the terminology but playing corner is not exactly the same as playing quarterback in the National Football League if you get my drift. Ike Taylor could do it. You could bring him in. He’d be the perfect guy in this system.”
Taylor, 31, has been mum on the situation, but at his annual football camp for youths had this to say, giving all indication he will explore the market.
“Time will tell,” Taylor told the New Orleans Times-Picayune during his annual football camp in a June 26th interview. “I’ve been there for eight years. I’ve been in that city more than any other city in my whole life. But time will tell. I see myself being anywhere I need to be. Wherever you put me, I’m going to make home.”
Taylor is coming off a 5-year, $22.7 million deal. Unlike most players in the league who are greedy, in order to help the Steelers brass, not once but twice he has restructured his contract to help the Steelers get additional cap space so they could sign players such as James Harrison and keep the Steelers competitive for another Super Bowl run.
He has been nothing but a loyal soldier to the Steelers and the best performer in the secondary. Normally this means Steeler brass will do their best to work with him to get him back. The question is at what price, and would a player such as Ben Roethlisberger be willing to do some restructuring himself, like Peyton Manning has in the past for the Colts, to help the Steelers meet those demands if they are excessive.