It took a while, but the Pittsburgh Steelers and wide receiver Mike Wallace seem to be making progress in coming to a common ground with a long-term deal.
The Steelers offered a restricted free-agent tender of $2.7 million to Wallace, who is entering his fourth year in the NFL. However, the Pro Bowl receiver refused to sign the tender, expecting a long-term deal that would make him one of the highest paid receivers in the league.
General manager Kevin Colbert has been making changes to the roster all offseason to make more cap room for Wallace’s potential long-term deal. Colbert has released wide receiver Arnez Battle, linebacker James Farrior, guard Chris Kemoeatu, cornerback Bryant McFadden, defensive end Aaron Smith, and future Hall of Fame receiver Hines Ward.
In addition, Pittsburgh has recently cut offensive tackle Jonathan Scott, probably to make more cap room and because of the recent signing of veteran offensive tackle Max Starks.
Many players this offseason have also restructured their contracts so that more money would be available for the front office to use this season.
After seeing the New Orleans Saints come to terms with quarterback Drew Brees, and running backs Matt Forte of the Chicago Bears and Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens ink their long-term deals, all eyes are now on the Steelers.
The likelihood of a deal being made before the team reports to training camp on July 25th is slim-to-none. However, the Steelers have a history of rewarding their players with long-term contracts while training camp is in session.
I think it’s safe to say that Wallace won’t get a gargantuan offer from Pittsburgh, but I think it will be enough to get him to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA with the rest of his teammates to prepare for the upcoming 2012 season.
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