Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor announced Tuesday during his radio show that he is retiring from the NFL after a 13-year career.
“Other than having my son, playing for the Steelers has been the best experience in my entire lifetime,” Taylor said. “It is rare, in this day of free agency that is super rare to play for one team. For me to have this opportunity says a lot about how they felt about me, what I gave back to the organization.
“I wasn’t cut, I wasn’t released. It was just my contract was up and it was time to retire. If you want to have pride, well that is the kind of pride I have, being able to play my contract out.”
Taylor, who was originally drafted by the Steelers in the fourth-round of the 2003 NFL Draft out of Louisiana-Lafayette, becomes the second Pittsburgh player to retire in the past several days as safety Troy Polamalu announced his retirement on Friday.
Taylor finished his career with 632 tackles, 14 interceptions, three sacks, four fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles. For several seasons Taylor was a Steelers iron-man of sorts as he played in 135 consecutive games until a fractured ankle in 2013 forced him to miss several games.
In addition to being a solid player on the field, Taylor was just as solid off of it. He will always be remembered as being a player that was never afraid to speak his mind. He was also very funny and could very easiliy put a smile on your face when you listened to him give an interview. In 2013, the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America voted him the year’s winner of the “Chief Award,” established in honor of Steelers’ founder, Arthur J. Rooney, Sr. and presented annually to the member of the Steelers’ organization who best exemplifies the spirit of cooperation with the media that Rooney did.