PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Steelers announced today that cornerback Ike Taylor has signed a five-year contract that will keep him with the team through the 2010 season.
The deal is worth $22.5 million and includes a $6.4 million signing bonus.
Taylor, a four-year veteran, led the NFL with 25 defensed passes in 2005 and finished fifth on the Steelers with 96 tackles (72 solo), while also recording one interception and a forced fumble. Two of his biggest plays in 2005 season came when he recorded key interceptions in both the AFC Championship Game and Super Bowl XL.
Originally drafted by the Steelers in the fourth round (124th overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft, Taylor (6-1, 191) became a full-time starter in 2005 and regularly drew the assignment of covering the opponent's top receiver. Taylor had several of his strongest performances in the 2005 postseason, recording 20 tackles (17 solo), two interceptions and five defensed passes in four games.
Whats your reaction?
I'm happy. I'll be in Pittsburgh the next five years and that's where I wanted to be at. So I'm here, I'm staying, I ain't going nowhere. This is where I wanted to be.
Did Willie Parker's deal kickstart yours?
Not at all. I told you I was going to be here. Whether I signed next year or this year, I was going to be here regardless, regardless, so I'm here.
What did your agent say about you saying you were going to be here? Did he want you to be quiet?
In some sense, yeah, but I was just that sure of myself. This is where I really wanted to be at. They gave me a chance to develop. Hopefully I can just show everybody what I can do now.
What's your relationship with Dan Rooney?
That's my guy. I call him Pops. Any type of question I have he's the guy I go to. I look at him as a father figure and go to him with any type of questions.
When did that start?
Probably towards the end of my rookie year, just coming to him, getting his thoughts on life, what he thinks of certain situations, and ever since then we just clicked.
Do you want to use some of the money to help him dress better?
He's old school. He don't like to change too much. I got him into flip-flops to be comfortable. I want to get him into some shorts, but I've been working on that for two years but it hasn't worked out.
Two picks today. Is it the money?
I've got hands now. I was saying that to myself: Two picks, wow, it must be the money.
How much were you involved?
My agent knew what I wanted. He knew I wanted to be here. I just had to say it one time and let him and the front office work it out.