9:39pm: The Steelers are not interested in signing Taylor, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweets. The team feels that Taylor’s bad knee is in need of repair and will take too long to heal, according to a source.
5:23pm: Nose tackle Phil Taylor became a free agent on Tuesday but he might not be unemployed for long. The former Browns first round pick visited the Steelers on Wednesday, according to a source that spoke with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Meanwhile, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (on Twitter) hears that upwards of eight teams are expressing interest in the veteran.
Taylor, 27, actually asked to be released by the Browns after it became clear that Danny Shelton would be the club’s starting nose tackle. The Browns obliged and didn’t ask to reduce the money owed to him, even though he’s slated to earn a $5.477MM fully guaranteed salary.
In 2013, Taylor was a starter on defense for Cleveland, but only played 555 defensive snaps, serving primarily as a run stopper. While he wasn’t a full-time player, Taylor’s performance against the run still placed him a solid 26th among 69 qualified defensive tackles, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required). The 27-year-old played just 133 snaps in 2014 before being sidelined with a knee injury.
Taylor was the Browns’ last remaining player from the Julio Jones trade with the Falcons four years ago. Now, the Browns have nothing to show for that deal.