Adam Schefter tweets that the Pittsburgh Steelers have re-signed cornerback Ike Taylor to a four-year deal. No deals are official until Friday, but the two sides reportedly agreed to terms on Tuesday night, and will make it official when contracts can be signed at the end of the week.
Re-signing Taylor was the Steelers' top priority this offseason, and the one most Steelers fans spent the offseason worrying about. Not only is Taylor a solid performer at cornerback, but he's also really the only obviously-competent starting cornerback the Steelers had. Fellow corner Bryant McFadden was frequently targeted by opposing defenses in 2010, and after him was a ragtag bunch that included William Gay, Anthony Madison and Keenan Lewis, a couple of whom are free agents themselves. The Steelers drafted cornerbacks Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen in the third and fourth rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft, respectively, but there was no assurance either of them would step up as rookies.
If Taylor hadn't been re-signed, the Steelers would have had to get creative with someone like Carlos Rogers or Richard Marshall. The signing of Taylor not only lets them keep a talented player they badly needed, but it also gives them some continuity after the lockout. Steelers fans can breathe a sigh of relief.