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Taylor, Morey stay put

| Saturday, April 22, 2006

Friday's 4 p.m. deadline for other teams to extend offers to Steelers restricted free agents Ike Taylor and Sean Morey came and went without either player generating any legitimate interest from another NFL club.

"We had discussions, but nothing serious enough to warrant any offers," said Scott Smith, Taylor's agent.

"No bites," added Michael Clohisy, Morey's representative. "Sean's happy, and I don't think he wants to be anywhere else."

The Steelers made it especially difficult for Taylor, a starting cornerback and a former fourth-round pick out of Louisiana-Lafayette in 2003, to wind up anywhere else.

By offering him an upgraded tender -- one year for $1.57 million -- they ensured themselves of receiving a first-round draft pick as compensation in the event Taylor would have signed with another team. The Steelers also would have had one week to match any such offer.

Smith said that, as far as he could remember, only one team has been willing to part with a first-round pick to sign another team's restricted free agent in the 13 years of the NFL's current collective bargaining agreement (wide receiver Laveranues Coles went to the Redskins from the Jets in 2003).

Morey, a reserve wide receiver and key contributor on special teams, received a one-year tender for $722,000 that didn't guarantee the Steelers a first-round pick as compensation in the event of his departure.

Smith said he'd have to "wait and see" if a long-term extension could be worked out with the Steelers before Taylor becomes an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the 2006 season.

"Ike wants to continue to play with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he'd love to retire with the Pittsburgh Steelers. But, at this point, it's too early to tell," Smith said. "It's a work in progress. Certainly, it's not going to happen over night, but it's something we'll continue to work on over time and try to find that common ground."

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