Wide receiver Mike Wallace has been as stubborn as a mule when it has come to signing his restricted free-agent tender offer of $2.7 million, or any other offer that the Steelers has put on the table for him this offseason.
Reportedly, the Pro Bowl receiver has turned down a five-year deal worth $50 million.
It seems that general manager Kevin Colbert has grown weary of the four-year veteran’s rebellion, and decided to direct the team’s focus and money elsewhere.
On Friday, Pittsburgh signed wide receiver Antonio Brown to a five-year, $42.5 million extension, which will keep him in the black and gold through the 2017 season.
With so much money being thrown at Brown’s direction, and the salary cap struggles Pittsburgh has endured this offseason, we have to wonder if there is enough money to give Wallace his long-term deal either this season or next season.
I think that the chance of him getting his long-term deal now are slim-to-none, and as for next season, Wallace may find himself in the same situation that he is in this offseason.
Wallace’s best bet right now is to sign the $2.7 million tender, play the season, and try to get his long-term deal for 2013. Even if he doesn’t get his deal for next season, Pittsburgh will still have the franchise tag to use on him, and he’ll make much more than the $2.7 million he’ll make if he signs the tender offer for this season.
However, with all of the negative attention that Wallace is bringing to the team, we also have to wonder if Colbert is willing to put Wallace on the trading block. Remember, before the 2012 NFL Draft, no team was willing to trade a first-round pick for Wallace.
Now that it’s evident that the team may be willing to part ways with the soon-to-be 26-year-old, are any teams willing to give up any players or draft picks for a potential headache?
Teams that could use a speedy receiver are the Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, and New York Jets. These teams aren’t strong playoff contenders, at least not stronger than the Steelers are. This situation will definitely let us know what Wallace’s true intentions are.
If Wallace is truly about the team and winning championships, then he’ll report to camp, sign his tender and be the team player that everyone wants him to be. Besides, I really don’t see any other Super Bowl contending teams going after Wallace.
I really hope that Wallace isn’t dumb enough to reject the $2.7 million this season. First of all, Pittsburgh is a Super Bowl contending team, and any player would give anything to be in his position. And second of all, this holdout will only hurt his reputation around the league. Yes, there is a possibility that another team may take a chance on him, but chances are that going somewhere else will be a step down from where he is.
Wallace just might miss out on the best opportunity of his NFL career.
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