- Pat McManamon, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Pittsburgh Steelers need defensive linemen, but they passed on Phil Taylor because their physical showed he needs another surgery on his injured knee, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Thursday.
Quoting a source, the newspaper reported that the Steelers felt that Taylor's knee would take too long to heal before they would know whether or how well he would play.
The Browns released Taylor on Tuesday even though they were obligated to pay him $5.4 million in guaranteed salary.
"... kind of in his state of rehab, he was well on his way to being back," coach Mike Pettine said, "but just given the current circumstances of us needing to trim the roster down and where he was and how we felt about the room, we just felt it was the right decision for all involved."
Taylor had surgery on his knee in November, and though it was never specified what it was, Pettine said Taylor had a procedure more complicated than many. The Steelers brought Taylor in for a visit because they lack depth on the defensive line, especially at end.
Taylor was a first-round pick by the Browns in the 2001 draft.