Steelers' Ike Taylor faces changes to stay in Pittsburgh

Steelers' Ike Taylor faces changes to stay in Pittsburgh
January 31, 2014, 9:00 am
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Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith (82) is tackled by Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor (24) during the second half of the game at Heinz Field.

(Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports)

By the time the 2014 season begins, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ike Taylor will be 34. That’s pretty old for a cornerback, but not so much for a safety. Will he be making the switch?

“I want to play football, so if they ask me [to play safety] I'm doing it regardless,” Taylor told Fox Sports (via ESPN.com). Taylor has spoken with Steelers defensive backs coach Carnell Lake and former Steeler (and Raven) Rod Woodson, who both made the switch later in their careers.

That might not be all that the Steelers would be asking of Taylor. Because of the way his contract is structured, his $7 million salary for 2014 translates into nearly $12 million for salary-cap purposes. So if Taylor wants to play a 12th season in Pittsburgh, he’s likely facing a salary cut.

“You've got to understand it's a business,” Taylor said. “You've got to understand as a business it will always be a young man's sport, and I understand that.”

But Taylor made it clear where his heart is.

“I would love to retire as a Steeler,” he said, “but you just never know. Time will tell.”