In Ike Taylor, you have a known commodity - a starting corner in the NFL. After a few rough games early, Taylor was his usual dependable self. The Steelers have had a lot of mixed success with fourth round picks. There have been guys like Willie Colon and Cortez Allen. There have also been Danny Farmer and Orien Harris, or Daniel Sepulvda. Maybe you get a player, maybe a dud.
You also have to replace a starting corner. Even if Ike is replaced with a rookie, he would count roughly 500k against the cap, thus netting a savings of only $2 million for trading Ike. $2 million will not get you a starting corner nor will it get you much more than a league average starter at a non-premium position.
The bottom line is that trading/releasing Taylor does not save much on the cap and will lead to a downgrade from a performance standpoint.
The closer it gets to March 12, the less likely he stays in Pittsburgh. Question you have to ask is this- is Keenan Lewis worth re-signing if the market sets the price? He'll be the top CB on the FA market- but Chadman is not convinced he'll be worth the money being offered.
Is he good?
But he's not a $7m+ per season CB.
With the extra 4th rounder, I would pick Lattimore. He's a legit 1st rounder (without injuries) and that's not even debatable. Is his injuries a concern? Yes, obviously. It's a risk that is specifically injury related... not performance related, not character related, and surely not talent related. He'll recover but it's just going to take some time which makes it even less of a risk to me.
I'm not saying the 2 million could be used to sign a starting CB. I'm saying the extra 2 million, along with our other cuts should help in keeping Lewis. If that is done, you don't need another starting CB because you have two starters on the roster with youth.. Allen and Lewis.
Taylor isn't going anywhere in a trade. I know it sounds good in theory but what team are you going to find that will give up a 4th rounder for a 33 year old CB for 2 years of guranteed money totaling 13 mil? Teams are smarter than you give them credit for. If the Steelers ever did shop Taylor, every team in the league would know why the Steelers were doing it in the first place....Cap. If they didn't find a suitor he would be released...So why would any teams give up a draft choice inside the top 4 rounds? You would be lucky to get a CB desperate team to dangle a 5th or 6th rounder in your face just so they didn't have to fight over him in FA.
Lets remember Keenan Lewis isn't Rod Woodson, Lewis had one good year, to command 7+ Mill for one year of good play might be ok in his mind but not the Steelers FO.
With Cortez and the recent signing of William Gay it doesn't look promissing the Steelers will be able to sign Keenan unless some unexpected circumstances arise.
Should be some big news hitting the board early next week.
Ike trains like a big dog and has never been injury prone or came to in any condition other than tip-top shape. Dismissing Ike because he'll be 33.5 to start this year is a mistake IMO. He can, IMO, at this point, continue to play at his level in a similar fashion that Champ Bailey and Charles Woodson are doing. There is still plenty of tread on those tires...his hands, well that's another thing. :p