Last week, the Steelers signed safety Troy Polamalu and tight end Heath Miller to contract extensions that gave the players no extra money. This week, the Steelers signed cornerback Ike Taylor to a new contract that reduces sharply his $7 million base salary for 2014.
According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Taylor’s base salary has dropped by $4.25 million, to $2.75 million.
Because Taylor is in the final year of his contract, the Steelers have created $4.75 million in additional cap space. Per Bouchette, the Steelers currently stand at $7 million under the cap.
It gives the Steelers some room to maneuver in free agency. Come June, when linebacker LaMarr Woodley exits the books, the Steelers will pick up another $8 million in cap space, more than enough to sign the team’s incoming class of draft picks.
So why did Taylor agree to the pay cut? Presumably, $2.75 million was as much or more than anyone else would have paid him, if he’d landed on the open market.