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How Will the Steelers Attack the CB Position This Offseason?


There’s been plenty of chatter already in the two weeks since the Super Bowl about how the Steelers are going to deal with the corner spot in 2011 and beyond.

Ike Taylor is a free agent, as is William Gay. It’s starting to sound more and more like the CBA is eventually going to get settled, meaning that both those players will in fact be able to leave and go elsewhere.

The Steelers seem to like Taylor enough to make him a very fair offer that could keep him around. Last time he was extended was before 2006 when he received a contract extension valued at $22.5 million over four years (with $6.4 million guaranteed).

Taylor has been sometimes very good, sometimes frustrating. I can see the Steelers giving him a 3-4 year deal that pays him about $4 mil per season. I can’t see him getting $5 mil on the open market from any team. Champ Bailey and Nnamdi Asomugha can get $5-6 mil per season, but not Taylor.

Then there’s Gay, who was a 5th round pick of the Steelers in 2007, and was a starter once the team lost Bryant McFadden. He’s only 26, and again is not a player that is going to command a ton of money on the open market.

It’s going to be interesting to see if the Steelers really make him an offer. One would think that they will try to get him on the cheap, but if he does get some team to bite, he’ll be gone.

With major talent on the open market, here’s what ESPN’s James Walker thinks the team will do this offseason with the corner spot in his weekend mailbag.

The Steelers are more likely to use an early draft pick (then get a high priced free agent CB). That is in line with their long history during the offseason. Every year we get e-mails from Steeler Nation asking will Pittsburgh go out and sign this Pro Bowler or that Pro Bowler in free agency and I just shake my head. Most Steelers fans know (or should know) that’s not how they operate. Maybe one day the Steelers will surprise everyone, but until then I’m anticipating another quiet offseason until the NFL draft.

That seems very much to be the route the team will take. The question is – where do Taylor and Gay lie in the teams plans?

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. George H

    February 21, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Taylor will be back… Gay will be gone

  2. DrGeorge

    February 21, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    The Steelers will keep Taylor because they can’t replace him for the same money. Gay is no longer a true CB; he plays nickel almost exclusively now and backs up the starter at CB when absolutely necessary. (The Steelers pray it isn’t necessary; Gay is a very short CB with lamentable technique, but he plays nickel well.) At times, McFadden played CB no better than Gay last season. If any one of those three will be gone next season, McFadden is most likely.

    CB is a glaring need for the team, and they aren’t going to get a shut-down CB at pick #31. Internally, Butler hasn’t developed fast enough. So, this may be the year the Steelers open the purse strings for a good CB in free agency, notwithstanding the opinion of ESPN’s James Walker. They won’t pay for a $5 million specimen, but a competent CB in the $3.5-4.4 million range is a possibility.

    • Jay

      February 22, 2011 at 2:19 pm

      Doc, I agree to a point but I also opine that they CAN get a starting caliber CB at pick 31…Here’s why, with college having gone (ridiculously) wide open of late, there are more NFL-ready CB’s in the draft; whereas in the last ten, even five years one would be lucky to find one or two NFL-ready CB’s in round one, today there are oftentimes 4-5. I like that Colorado kid or even Ras I Dowling..guys who may be able to be an eventual upgrade over McFadden at the number two, after resigning Taylor and then ONLY bringing back Gay on their terms; otherwise, we have to see what Lewis (CB/S) and Butler (CB) can do in the nickel. There will be growing pains initially with both Butler/Lewis in the nickel AND a 31st pick rookie CB but by midseason or 3/4 point, if our offense can average 20-27/game, we may be in good shape. I think another big x factor is whether or not Worilds and Sylvester develop which may relegate foote, even farrior to some degree of expendability, allowing harrison to occasionally move inside (ILB)…Give Woodley the big money and bring back Adams for another year allowing the team to slide Colon inside to guard and extend him at a cheaper rate than if they kept him at tackle…maybe flozell’s presence for another year can allow them to see what they have in chris scott from Tennessee.

  3. Dave B.

    February 21, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    The team needs to try and re-sign Ike Taylor if at all possible . Hes better than average and the most dependable corner on the team . William Gay , on the other hand needs to be given his walking papers . He is immediately targeted every time hes on the field and is beaten badly in one on one coverage . The team must upgrade this position .

  4. Ron Kurimsky Sr

    February 21, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Both Gay & Mcfadden are weak links & totally expendable. Taylor is the best of the three and is capable of some good moments. But, he is no pro bowler & just a wee bit better than average. No team in their right mind will bite on either Gay or McFadden. Their weaknesses have been well exposed by most NFL teams that the Steelers played.

  5. Pingback: Walker: How Will the Steelers Address the CB Spot? » Steelers Gab

  6. alfred k

    February 24, 2011 at 1:29 am

    WE ARE GOING TO SIGN TAYLOR AND HOPEFULLY RELEASE GAY AND B MAC. WE NEED TO GET A CB IN THE DRAFT AND ANOTHER THRU FA. WE NEED TO START PLAYING BUTLER AND LEWIS TO SEE WHERE WE AT WITH THESE TWO CBS. I’M SICK AND TIRED OF WATCHING OUR SECONDARY GET BEAT, IT WAS ONE OF THE REASONS WE LOST THE SUPER BOWL. TOMLIN AND LE BEAU ARE DEFENSIVE GUYS THAT NEED TO FIX THIS PROBLEM, IT’S A DAMM JOKE. GO STEELERS #1

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