Working with Ike

The Steelers would like to get a new deal worked out with restricted free agent Ike Taylor.

Agent Scott Smith, the representative for restricted free agent cornerback Ike Taylor, arrived in Pittsburgh Wednesday to open negotiations with the team on a new deal for the cornerback.

Smith met with Pittsburgh Steelers negotiator Omar Khan at the team's headquarters to discuss a long-term contract for the cornerback, process that could last through the weekend.

Taylor, who broke into the Steelers' starting lineup last season, can sign with another team, but the Steelers would have one week to match the deal or let him go and receive a first-round draft choice in return. But teams have only until April 21 to sign restricted free agents.

If Taylor does not sign a long-term deal, he would receive $1.7 million for 2006 and become an unrestricted free agent if he does not sign before March.

"Ike's a player with a lot of upside," said Smith. "He's only started at cornerback for two seasons, one in college and one with the Steelers. So it remains to be seen just how good the finished product will be."

Courtesy of the Observer-Reporter

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