Now that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace has chosen to hold out of training camp, there is some talk building that the team is quietly looking for a trading partner with the goal of trading the disgruntled veteran.
If he’s on the block, there will be interested suitors, though his contract demands and willingness to hold out could be a hurdle. While trying to protect himself, he could have signed the one-year tender and entered free agency next year. Instead, he and his agent decided to mount a full-court press for a big-bucks, long-term deal while dangling the threat of holding out.
Once Wallace was a no-show, the Steelers went into overdrive with Antonio Brown and locked him up with a five-year, $42.5 million extension that will take him through the 2017 season. Brown’s deal was a statement that the team was not only ready to move on without Wallace, but also spend money when it feels necessary.
Wallace is stuck with a one-year, low-ball Restricted Free Agent tag but the two sides have been working closer to a deal for over a month, though it seems that we can now implement the word “impasse” with these latest developments.
Word has it that he recently turned down a five-year, $50 million deal, but that the sides weren’t that far apart on total value. It’s the monetary guarantees that get sticky, and Wallace and the Steelers obviously don’t see eye-to-eye on that issue.
Now, who is in the market for Wallace, if anyone? Talk is that the Indianapolis Colts could be the leading candidate, and one could write up a short list of teams in need of a receiver (New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, Carolina Panthers) with relative ease.
Still, is this threat of a trade just a counter punch to Wallace’s holdout, a heavy-handed pronouncement of the Steelers unwillingness to negotiate any further… right before a deal is struck? Could be, teams and players pull out all the punches when the big money is there on the table between them.