Share This Page

Steelers' Taylor restructures deal

The Steelers continue to re-sign their players using a familiar formula.

For the second consecutive year, starting cornerback Ike Taylor has restructured his contract to create more salary cap space.

Agent Joel Segal confirmed that Taylor, a Pro Bowl alternate last season who signed a five-year, $23.75 million extension in 2006, reduced his 2009 base salary of $3.5 million recently.

"There was a minor restructure," Segal, Taylor's new representative, said Wednesday.

By converting some of Taylor's base salary into a signing bonus, the Steelers were able to come up with more money to sign players.

Last week, the Steelers re-signed Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison to a six-year, $51.175 million contract - the largest deal for a defensive player in franchise history.

On Monday, a week after Harrison's signing, director of football operations Kevin Colbert said the Steelers released running back Gary Russell so they could re-sign quarterback Charlie Batch.

"We were very, very tight, and we actually couldn't add Charlie without deleting somebody," Colbert said. "With the uncertainty of the (collective bargaining agreement), it's harder to manipulate not only new contracts but some of the stuff you used to do to create (salary cap) room as far as guaranteeing and turning it into a signing bonus."

Taylor's willingness to restructure his contract paid off last year when he reduced his $4.1 million base salary by $3 million also in the form of a signing bonus so the Steelers could come to terms with first-round draft pick Rashard Mendenhall.

Taylor, the highest-paid cornerback in franchise history, has two years remaining on his current deal. He led Steelers corners in passes defensed in 2008 while covering a talented group of receivers that included Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Andre Johnson, Reggie Wayne and T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

"Any time a high character guy like Ike asks you to represent him, it's flattering and exciting. He's an elite corner," said Segal, who also represents Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes. "You haven't seen the best of him yet."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.