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Old 05-13-2006, 06:45 AM   #1
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Default The Ike Taylor Frame of Mind

Steelers Minicamp: Taylor promises no work stoppage
Saturday, May 13, 2006

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



The Steelers take the field together today for the first time since Feb. 5 in Detroit, and Ike Taylor promises there will be no repeat of the infamous Mother's Day minicamp holdout.

Taylor, who played superbly for a first-year starter at cornerback last season, has a one-year contract with the Steelers and is working on a long-term deal. That was receiver Plaxico Burress' situation two years ago when he blew off the three-day mandatory minicamp because, he later complained, it was held over Mother's Day. Instead, he attended a Miami Heat playoff game that night in Florida. Burress then skipped the rest of the team's spring workouts and played one more season before he signed with the New York Giants as a free agent.

The Steelers and Scott Smith, Taylor's agent, have negotiated for weeks on a long-term contract with little progress. In the meantime, Taylor last week signed the one-year tender of $1,573,000 the club issued him, and he said yesterday he never has been happier.

"You have to stay positive," Taylor said. "There's nothing really negative about it. I feel as a player, you're going to come out on top and, as a staff, they're going to come out on top. It's just both meeting halfway trying to get something done."

Many players grow anxious as they approach their last season under contract for many reasons, even though the players fought for free agency in the late 1980s and received it from grudging NFL management with the collective bargaining agreement of 1992. A new contract, for good players, means millions in a signing bonus, money that can't be revoked because of injury or subpar play. It's the only true guarantee of virtually all NFL contracts. A long-term, sizable contract also eases doubts about their future and shows the club's willingness for them to be part of that future.

A fat, new contract shows the money and the love.

Taylor may well have some of those anxieties, but he professed otherwise.

"I don't think there's a negative part to it," Taylor said, "because I'm doing something a lot of people would like to do, that's playing football in the NFL, and I'm enjoying myself and enjoying playing for Pittsburgh. As far as any negatives, I see no negatives in this."

Last season, his third, was Taylor's first as a starter, but he played well enough for the Steelers to believe he has a good future. The tender they gave him as a restricted free agent meant that had another team signed him, it would have had to give the Steelers a first-round draft choice in return. His contract for 2006 represents a 414 percent increase over his $380,000 salary from last season. If he does not get a new contract from the Steelers he would become an unrestricted free agent next year and likely command a sizable signing bonus on the open market if he continues to play the way he did in 2005.

"It's still a slow process. We're still negotiating," said Taylor. "It's something I can't worry about. We have minicamp coming up, and I'll take it one day at a time.

"I want to be here. I want to stay here. You can't let it bother you. We'll get it worked out, there's no rush."

Taylor has worked out voluntarily with his teammates at the Steelers' training facility on the South Side the past three weeks and plans no work stoppage, not now, not in training camp. Before he arrived in Pittsburgh, he had been working with trainer Tom Shaw in Orlando, Fla., since shortly after the team's Super Bowl victory.

"I'm not a holdout guy. I don't want to be like that, I just want to play football and win games," Taylor said. "Whatever happens, it is what it is. I'm just going to let it be like that.

"We're still talking. Sometimes, there are standstills, but that's understandable. That's the negotiating part of it, the business aspect. It's teaching me a lot. I'm learning a lot, asking a lot of questions. I want to know what's going on. I don't want to be in the dark. It's kind of interesting, to be honest with you."

Taylor, who led the NFL with 24 passes defensed last season, won't say if he feels he is among the better cornerbacks in the league.

"Hopefully, I can be. I'm going on my second season starting. It's just a matter of time. I'll try to be productive on the field and let you guys decide whether I'm a top corner or an average corner. My goal is to be one of the best."
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Old 05-13-2006, 07:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Ike Taylor Frame of Mind

"I'm not a holdout guy. I don't want to be like that, I just want to play football and win games," Taylor said. "Whatever happens, it is what it is. I'm just going to let it be like that.

Even though I'll believe it when I see it, that's something you don't hear everyday in today's sports world.
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Old 05-13-2006, 07:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Ike Taylor Frame of Mind

Taylor must be looking for that huge payday, of course. But he needs to keep in mind that part of his success may be the Steelers system, and how much heat we can get on opposing qbs. He might not have the same successs elsewhere, I mean get paid but don`t try breaking the bank
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Old 05-13-2006, 08:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: The Ike Taylor Frame of Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by clevestinks
I mean get paid but don`t try breaking the bank
I agree. I said the same thing when Ward held out. Many wanted the Steelers FO to "pay him whatever he wants".
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Old 05-13-2006, 12:20 PM   #5
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Default saying the right thing

He's saying the right thing. But I get this feeling that he doesn't expect a new contract anytime soon. He's not getting anything close to what he wants and this is how he responds...like a man.
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Old 05-13-2006, 01:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Ike Taylor Frame of Mind

How does everybody assume that I. Taylor wants a huge contract. Because some columist said he demanded a double digit signing bonus. If he knows that he has room to improve he knows he isn't going to get a ridiculous signing bonus or contract. I think this kid has what it takes and if resigned will pay big dividends when it all said and done. IMO
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Old 05-13-2006, 01:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Ike Taylor Frame of Mind

Smart choice Ike. Get working on your contract. Stay with us man.
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Old 05-13-2006, 01:53 PM   #8
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Cool Re: saying the right thing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haiku_Dirtt
He's saying the right thing. But I get this feeling that he doesn't expect a new contract anytime soon. He's not getting anything close to what he wants and this is how he responds...like a man.
VERY WLL SAID!

I agree with you Haiku. Of course he wants more money...who in the world doesn't? But he is at least, as you stated perfectly, responding like a man. I do think he wants to stay in the Burgh. I do think he realizes he has a good thing going. I just hope that, as the season progresses and he gets closer to Free Agency, that he doesn't catch the Burress/ARE Syndrome.

Money, or the prospect of a LOT of money, can change a person........................just ask the Redskins!
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Old 05-13-2006, 04:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Ike Taylor Frame of Mind

I'm telling you, we should sign him now for reasonable money, because when he elevates himself into the rare air of the elite cover corners of this league next season, he's gonna be looking for Redskins money...

Ike is gonna be a superstar...
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Old 05-13-2006, 04:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Ike Taylor Frame of Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suitanim
I'm telling you, we should sign him now for reasonable money, because when he elevates himself into the rare air of the elite cover corners of this league next season, he's gonna be looking for Redskins money...

Ike is gonna be a superstar...
All I can really say to that response is that I agree 100%.
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